TORONTO, March 7, 2017 /CNW/ - In one of the largest charitable donations ever in Canada aimed at Indigenous communities, The Slaight Family Foundation will donate more than $12 million to 15 not-for-profit organizations. Funding will be used to create unique initiatives that build capacity and leadership within Indigenous communities to strengthen the physical, mental, cultural and social well-being of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit across Canada.
"Indigenous people throughout Canada need support – from within their communities and without – in order to thrive and I believe we all have a responsibility to offer that support, both privately and through government funding," said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. "We have sought the advice of Indigenous leaders across Canada in the development of these initiatives and are hopeful that these gifts will have a positive lasting impact on the lives of Indigenous Canadians, particularly youth. We are proud to be able to help make a difference."
"Private philanthropy has a very important role today in addressing one of the most challenging and promising areas of public policy investment," said Roberta Jamieson, President & CEO, Indspire, one of the recipient organizations. "These generous leadership gifts will have a significant impact on the lives of Indigenous people who in turn will help enrich our country on so many levels."
With the support of The Slaight Family Foundation, Indspire will disburse financial awards, deliver programs, and share resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. This generous gift will provide 750 new bursaries for Indigenous students to pursue studies in arts, culture, and language. It will also impact up to 30,000 students by increasing Indspire's ability to support educators and communities who are working to improve the high school graduation rate, which now sits at less than 40% compared to a national rate of 87%.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the K-12 Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. In 2015-16, Indspire has provided $12.2 million through 3,792 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people that is broadcast nationally. In 2017, Indspire will showcase the Indspire Youth Laureates Cross Canada Tour in highly-interactive panel discussions to be hosted in seven cities – Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Yellowknife. www.indspire.ca
About The Slaight Family Foundation
Established in 2008, The Slaight Family Foundation is committed to making a difference. The Foundation supports projects related to health care, social service initiatives, arts and culture. The Foundation is particularly supportive of projects that help at risk or disadvantaged youth. To date, the Foundation has supported over 100 projects within Canada and overseas, assisting at-risk youth, supporting various health research initiatives, encouraging new works of art and providing bursaries and endowment for students in need of financial support to continue their studies. In 2013, the Foundation donated $50 million to five hospitals in Toronto to support the delivery of advanced healthcare at all stages of life. In 2015, seven Canadian NGOs received funding from the Foundation to support Canada's lifesaving efforts in global humanitarianism. Last year, the Foundation selected 11 organizations to support the healthy development of children and youth across Canada.