Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 31, 2010 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Saskatoon Aboriginal Organizations

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Maurice Vellacott, Member of Parliament (Saskatoon–Wanuskewin), today announced funding for the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre (SIMFC) and the Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre, more commonly known as EGADZ.

This funding will help these organizations provide Aboriginal youth in Saskatoon with activities that incorporate Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices and that are designed to strengthen their cultural identity, improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and enable them to fully participate in Canadian society.

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting community-based, youth-led activities that connect Aboriginal youth with their culture," said Minister Moore. "These initiatives allow young Aboriginal people to become more active participants in shaping their future and in contributing to the growth of their community and of Canada."

"These projects will increase pride of Aboriginal youth in our community and help build self-confidence and self-esteem," added Mr. Vellacott.

SIMFC's youth program department fosters positive self-identity for urban Aboriginal youth through cultural, recreational, and educational activities such as pow-wow song and dance, fiddling lessons, personal development and modelling, CPR certification, various sporting activities, and a drop-in centre.

"This funding will allow us to reach out to the youth, engage them, and help them learn more about their culture through the many programs offered here at the Centre," said May Henderson, Executive Director of SIMFC. "On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, thank you to the Government of Canada for their support."

EGADZ's project Joe's Garage is aimed at young Aboriginal males aged 12 to 19 who are caught up in negative and violent street lifestyles. The focus of Joe's Garage is to develop participants' awareness of themselves and their culture through a blend of recreational activities and workshops, community events, and consistent contact with the project elder. Other activities include traditional ceremonies, teen parenting workshops, and culture camps.

"Joe's Garage, through the support of the Government of Canada, offers youth a place where they can access resources and have an active role in designing and participating in positive activities with their peers," said Bill Thibodeau, Executive Director of EGADZ. "Joe's Garage offers youth an opportunity to develop skills that they will use for the rest of their lives."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $100,000 to the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre and $71,000 to EGADZ 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
    Prairies and Northern Region
    Francine D. Lefebvre
    Director - Regional Communications
    204-983-4367 / Cell: 204-899-8611
    francine.lefebvre@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca