National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation

December 10, 2009 07:01 ET

NAAF Presents to Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs

NAAF President Roberta Jamieson’s Message: “Realizing Our Potential For Achievement: An Urgent Investment in Canada’s Future”

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2009) - The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation's President and CEO, Roberta Jamieson has been invited by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, to discuss the topic of Access for Aboriginals to Post-Secondary Education on Thursday, December 10.

Ms. Jamieson, along with Jaden Keitlah, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students; and Kathleen Keenan, Director General of Education, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will be asked to present opening remarks, followed by a question and answer period with the committee members.

"The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation looks upon each financial contribution it makes to a student as an investment, and I suggest you should see it the same way. Investment of resources and energy to realize the potential of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis youth is essential if Canada is to have a prosperous future. The Foundation is an investor in our future, and our future is Canada's future."

This will be the message from Ms. Jamieson when she appears in Ottawa at a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Ms. Jamieson said she plans to remind the Senators that education not only gives the next generation the skills they need for jobs, for entrepreneurship, but it also leads to personal empowerment. "We simply cannot accept the denial of opportunity, to accept that in Canada there are hundreds of thousands of youth who are talented, with potential to spare, but who are locked in poverty, and/or whose educational progress is deficient."

The Foundation has a bold mandate to encourage, empower, and provide assistance to First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, groups and communities so they can convert their tremendous potential, their aspirations, into solid achievement and brighter futures.

The Foundation provides more scholarship funding to First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth than any other agency in Canada outside the federal government - to date $32-million to more than 8,400 recipients. In 2008-2009 alone, it provided $4.6-million to 1,341 recipients.

Ms. Jamieson plans to inform the Senators how the Foundation offers a high standard of accountability. "Our recipients are chosen by a jury system involving representatives of many organizations. The Foundation has in place policies and procedures to ensure there is sound stewardship of the funds with which it is entrusted - we have a very competent and expert Board of Directors who guide our work.

"The Foundation has in place allocation methodologies to ensure there is equitable access across Canada to all potential recipients of bursaries; there are performance measurement procedures to ensure that the objectives of its funding program are met - the Foundation is willing to be measured on the results of its work," Ms. Jamieson said.

The Foundation's work is supported by federal and provincial governments along with corporate and philanthropic sponsors.

Ms. Jamieson said she would also inform the Senators that "we are proud of the work the Foundation does - but none of us are satisfied with the fact that the Foundation has sufficient funds to provide only 27% of the assistance requested from those who apply."

Ms. Jamieson said she knew many of the Senators were already supportive not only of the Foundation, but also for increased funding for aboriginal scholarships, for programs and services designed to remove the barriers which keep many students from being able to move ahead on their career plans.

"As indigenous peoples, we know that today, our primary assets are our people, our youth," Ms. Jamieson said. "Education not only gives our next generation the skills they need for jobs, for entrepreneurship, but it also leads to personal empowerment.
For more information, please contact:
Jamie Monastyrski
Director of Communications & Media
National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
cell: 416-903-4331
416-926-0775 ext: 238

The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) is a nationally registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to deliver programs that provide the tools necessary for Aboriginal peoples, especially youth to achieve their potential. Since 1985 the Foundation through its Education Program has awarded more than $32-million in scholarships and bursaries to more than 8,400 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students nationwide. NAAF's key initiatives include: The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards (NAAA) a national annual broadcast celebrating 14 achievers in a multitude of career areas including a special youth award and an award for lifetime achievement; Taking Pulse joins NAAF with industry to present career options in specific growth sectors through a series of short documentaries and supporting curriculum materials with the aim of recruiting First Nations, Inuit & Métis youth; and Blueprint for the Future (BFF) a series of one-day career fairs that motivate and inspire First Nations, Inuit and Métis high school students with valuable resources and information on career opportunities. Over 30,000 students have attended these exciting youth oriented events to date nationwide.
/For further information: Jamie Monastyrski
NAAF Director of Communications & Media

Contact Information

  • Jamie Monastyrski, Director of Communications, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
    Primary Phone: 416-903-4331