Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 23, 2010 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Youth in Saskatchewan

PRINCE ALBERT, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Aug. 23, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament (Prince Albert), today announced funding for the YWCA Prince Albert and the West Flat Citizens Group.

This funding will assist these organizations in providing Aboriginal youth with activities that incorporate Aboriginal values, strengthen their cultural identity, and enable them to fully participate in Canadian society.

"Our Government is committed to providing Aboriginal young people with projects that connect them with their culture," said Minister Moore. "By funding youth-led activities, we are helping tomorrow's leaders develop the skills needed to build strong neighbourhoods and families."

"The YWCA Prince Albert and the West Flat Citizens Group play an important role in our community,"said Mr. Hoback. "They offer Prince Albert's Aboriginal youth a safe environment in which they can take part in activities that promote a positive lifestyle."

Through its "Leadership and Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth" project, the YWCA Prince Albert provides activities in its facility and within the community of Prince Albert. Young people take part in community events such as Racism Week, the Missing Persons walk, and career fairs. They attend round dances, pow-wows, and cultural ceremonies and camps, and participate in basic Cree language learning. The project also provides leadership development, as well as workshops on topics such as gangs, positive parenting, substance abuse, nutrition, and survival skills for urban Aboriginal youth from low-income families.

"The YWCA Prince Albert is very excited to receive this funding for our Aboriginal Youth Project," said Donna Brooks, Executive Director. "For many of the youth, it is the only connection to their culture that they have. To watch the youth grow, develop leadership skills and then work with other youth and the community is truly amazing. We know this will make a big difference in their lives."

West Flat Citizens Group's "Leaving a Legacy" project also engages young people through workshops and teachings. Activities include a cultural mural project, outdoor cultural teachings with an elder, and recreational and sport activities. Young people participate in sport coaching and officiating workshops to develop leadership skills and become positive role models in the community. Monthly educational workshops teach life skills and wellness through presentations on topics such as substance abuse, violence, and teen parenting. All activities, with the exception of the outdoor cultural teachings, take place at West Flat Citizens Group's facility.

"Through traditional ceremonies that embrace values, customs, and language, this project presents participants with opportunities that contribute to the discovery of self potential," said Dawn Robins, Executive Director of West Flat Citizens Group. "Our objective is to provide guidance and direction in order to empower youth to make healthier lifestyle choices and assist them to take leadership roles in the community."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $40,829 to the YWCA Prince Albert and $55,000 to the West Flat Citizens Group through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth initiative (formerly known as the Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre Initiative) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This initiative provides Aboriginal young people aged 10 to 24, living in urban settings across Canada, with programming that incorporates Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices in projects and activities designed to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    819-997-7788
    matthew.deacon@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Regional Communications
    Roxanne Carriere
    Senior Communications Advisor
    204-984-8700 or Cell: 204-228-8866
    francine.lefebvre@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca