Harper Government Supports Aboriginal Youth in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Aboriginal youth in Winnipeg will learn more about their culture and their traditions, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Funding will support Ka Ni Kanichihk's Our Youth Coming Home project, which aims to help Aboriginal youth gain and share in-depth cultural knowledge and skills. Activities include cultural teachings, life skills training, group mentorship, and participation in community events. The project promotes the engagement of Aboriginal youth in the community and allows them to build on their strengths in a safe and culturally relevant environment.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in organizations that ensure Aboriginal youth have access to culturally focused activities," said Minister Moore. "By investing in this project, we are helping to provide young people with opportunities to learn more about their traditional practices and values and to make positive life choices."

"As a result of this investment, Aboriginal youth in Winnipeg have access to cultural learning activities and ceremonies that can help them reconnect with their heritage," said Minister Toews. "This strengthens their cultural identity, surrounds them with positive influences, and provides them with the tools necessary to become future leaders for their communities."

"Our Youth Coming Home was developed by Ka Ni Kanichihk's Aboriginal Youth Council, which is composed of youth who are role models in their communities," said Leslie Spillett, Executive Director of Ka Ni Kanichihk. "Ka Ni Kanichihk is pleased to have this opportunity to provide culturally based activities that strengthen cultural identity and leadership skills and support Aboriginal youth to develop those essential life skills that will prepare them to embrace citizenship."

Ka Ni Kanichihk, founded in 2001, is a community-based organization whose mandate is to serve the urban Aboriginal community by providing programs and services that focus on wholeness and wellness and that build on the strengths and resilience of Aboriginal peoples.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $249,663 through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth 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.)

SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information:

(media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage and
Official Languages
    Francine D. Lefebvre
Director Regional Communications
Prairies and Northern Region
Canadian Heritage
Tel.: 204-983-4367
Cell: 204-899-8611
    Media Relations
Canadian Heritage



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