Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 10, 2010 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in the Otehnikan Educational Society

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament (Edmonton East), today announced funding for the Otehnikan Educational Society.

With this funding, the Otehnikan Educational Society will realize its project Braided Journeys Circle of Support, which is designed to provide Aboriginal youth with support from elders, community mentors, and tutors to help them connect with others and create a sense of belonging in school and in a social environment.

"Our Government is committed to helping Aboriginal young people gain the skills they need to achieve their goals," said Minister Moore. "It is important to recognize the value of these kinds of initiatives, and I am pleased that our Government is providing this funding to the Otehnikan Educational Society."

"This is an investment that will assist First Nations people here in Alberta," said Mr. Goldring. "Aboriginal youth are more likely to connect and participate in urban society in positive ways when they can also make meaningful connections with their Aboriginal roots."

"We are pleased that the Government of Canada supports the work the Otehnikan Educational Society is doing to connect Aboriginal youth to culturally relevant programming," said Pamela Sparklingeyes, Program Manager of Aboriginal Learning Services at Edmonton Catholic Schools. "By enhancing academic performance, social competence, and problem-solving skills, Aboriginal youth participating in this mentoring project are more likely to complete school and contribute to the social and economic prosperity of the country."

The Otehnikan Educational Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing programming to 20 Edmonton Catholic schools with high Inuit, Métis, and First Nations populations. The Society, which operates from the Ben Calf Robe School, delivers culturally relevant mentoring programs with the goal of strengthening at-risk Aboriginal youth through its innovative circle of support approach.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $160,000 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 under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Perry Boldt
    A/Regional Manager - Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations