Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative

Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative

September 12, 2007 14:25 ET

Aboriginal Wellness and Learning Centre Opens at Hillside Beach, Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2007) - Aboriginal youth and families in need of spiritual guidance and cultural teaching will find support at the new Windy Hill Learning and Wellness Centre. Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, which is operating the facility, received $1.47 million in funding through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (WHHI), a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg.

James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development; MLA Doug Martindale on behalf of Manitoba Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh; and Councillor Dan Vandal, Secretary of Urban Aboriginal Opportunities, on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, made the announcement today.

"Canada's New Government is committed to helping those who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless," said MP Bezan. "The Windy Hill Learning and Wellness Centre will help provide homeless or at-risk homeless Aboriginal youth a safe and nurturing environment where they can access the housing and services they need."

"At-risk or in-crisis youth have an opportunity to step back from their daily lives, and learn from their peers and counsellors in a setting that is conducive to learning and reflection," said MLA Doug Martindale on behalf of Minister Mackintosh. "The Province of Manitoba, through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, is pleased to be part of this project."

"Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre has a proven track record of working with Aboriginal youth in Winnipeg through a variety of programs," said Councillor Vandal. "This facility will offer a welcoming place of retreat and learning outside of the city of Winnipeg for children, youth, families, community people and organizations to learn and grow stronger together."

Windy Hill Learning and Wellness Centre is located at Hillside Beach, approximately 120 km north of Winnipeg. Much of the facility's programming will be determined and run by youth who have participated in Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre's other programs.

"The Windy Hill Learning and Wellness Centre is the culmination of seven years of community consultation and visioning to better serve Aboriginal families," said Josie Hill, Ma Mawi Executive Director. "We are so excited at the leadership shown by our youth in designing and now delivering on own retreat centre where healing, learning and sharing can take place for our chidren, youth, elders, men and women and helpers."

The centre received federal homelessness funding of $1.47 million. Other financial support includes $65,000 from the Province of Manitoba's Community Places program and $200,000 from the Winnipeg Foundation towards capital costs. The cost of the facility is $1.77 million.

The funding is co-ordinated by the WHHI, a partnership established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg to address homelessness, declining housing stock and the revitalization of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods.

Since 2000, the WHHI partnership has committed over $99 million to repair, rehabilitate, or construct over 4,000 housing units as well as assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The WHHI is a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government-funded housing and homelessness programs.

The Government of Canada's new Homelessness Partnering Strategy began on April 1, 2007. It will provide $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy puts in place structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless move to self-sufficiency, and fosters partnerships aimed at achieving concrete results and enhanced sustainability.

For more information on the federal government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy, visit www.homelessness.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Service Canada/WWHI
    Jacquie Sippola
    204-983-2295