$25-million fundraising campaign launched to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities

    VANCOUVER, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Aboriginal, business, community and
Catholic leaders joined here today to launch "Moving Forward Together," a
national fundraising campaign to help create a brighter future for Canada's
First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The campaign's objective is to
raise $25-million over the next five years to support healing and youth
education programs.
    The national co-chairs for the campaign are Phil Fontaine, National
Chief, Assembly of First Nations, and Archbishop James Weisgerber, Archdiocese
of Winnipeg.
    National Chief Fontaine said "for decades, many different First Nations
communities, through patient and dedicated individuals, have been steadfastly
working to resolve some of the obstacles to our well-being. The healing
movement, begun decades ago, is now strong. Some communities have already made
great strides through strong leadership and effective programs. Successful
healing efforts have helped many people make peace with the past and begin
building a future. But this hard work needs to be strengthened and sustained
to make a lasting difference."
    "Although many First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have found hope in
their families, success in their work and fulfillment in their lives, others
continue to live in the shadow of a painful past," said Archbishop Weisgerber.
"This campaign presents us with the opportunity to help them to heal from
these experiences and benefit from the same opportunities available to the
rest of Canadian society."
    "The campaign is still in its early stages," Archbishop Weisgerber said,
"but significant work has already been conducted to help guide our efforts,
and a solid network of national and regional leaders and volunteers is coming
together quickly."
    A group of 50 Catholic organizations that were involved in the Indian
Residential School system is playing a leadership role in bringing together a
partnership of Aboriginal leaders, and community and business partners to work
on all aspects of the campaign.

    Enquiries regarding corporate donations to the Moving Forward Together
campaign can be sent to the campaign office at info@movingforwardtogether.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Media: Jean-Paul Brasseur, (613) 830-4766,
mobile: (613) 724-0412, jp.brasseur@sympatico.ca

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