SASKATOON, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Maurice Vellacott, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Wanuskewin, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced support to: Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. Projects are aimed at addressing barriers to employment and helping to increase the participation of urban Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan's economy.
The support being provided will help bring together governments, Aboriginal organizations and the private and not-for-profit sectors in partnership to develop an Urban Aboriginal Regional Strategic Plan for Saskatchewan in a coordinated effort to better address the needs of urban Aboriginal people in the region. Additionally, it will encourage projects aimed at ensuring urban Aboriginal people across the province have the necessary skills and training for employment.
Funding is provided as part of the Government of Canada's Urban Aboriginal Strategy, which is aimed at increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal people in Canada's economy by developing partnerships and supporting initiatives in communities across the country.
- A total of $240,434 is being provided as part of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
- The Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan is a regional subsidiary of the National Association of Friendship Centres and represents 11 Friendship Centres in Saskatchewan. They received $82,977 to participate in the development of an Urban Aboriginal Regional Strategic Plan.
- The Saskatchewan School Boards Association provides leadership, coordination and services to member boards of education to support student achievement and helping to improve outcomes for Aboriginal students. They received $82,000 to deliver phase-one of their project: Developing Partnerships to Facilitate Urban Youth Participation in the Economy to develop a cohesive, long-term stay-in-school plan by garnering support for the delivery of an Aboriginal youth Entrepreneurship Program.
- The City of Saskatoon received $75,457 to deliver phase-one of the Saskatoon Aboriginal Employment Partnership Initiative. The City will host engagement sessions and a venue to share data and the best practices with western urban centres. Outcomes will be incorporated into the Urban Aboriginal Regional Strategic Plan.
- 56 percent of all Aboriginal people in Canada live in urban areas.
- The cities with the largest Aboriginal populations in 2011 were Winnipeg (78,420), Edmonton (61,765), Vancouver (52,375), Toronto (36,995), Calgary (33,370), Ottawa-Gatineau (30,570), Montreal (26,280), Saskatoon (23,895), and Regina (19,785).
"Our Government is proud to provide funding to the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, City of Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. Supporting measures that help create jobs and encourage Aboriginal participation in the economy is another step the Government is taking to enable Aboriginal people to take advantage of our country's economic prosperity."
The Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"I applaud the collaborative work of the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan School Board Association for bringing together the right stakeholders in order to see improved outcomes for the Aboriginal peoples within our communities"
Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Wanuskewin
"We are very excited to begin the engagement process. Through working together and increasing our understandings, we will be successful in reducing barriers often faced by urban Aboriginal people, as eager participants in Saskatchewan's economy. We anticipate the engagement process will produce creative 'real' solutions and the potential for great partnerships."
George Sayese, President
Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan
"We are working together with our business partners, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority and the Saskatoon Aboriginal Employment Partnership committee to support Aboriginal employment in Saskatoon. It is through our joint efforts that we can make Saskatoon a strong community where everyone has an opportunity for employment and a good quality of life."
His Worship Donald Atchison, Mayor
City of Saskatoon
"We want to thank Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for its strong support of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) in Saskatchewan. Enrolment in the AYEP has more than doubled for its second year of operations under the Saskatchewan School Board Association's leadership and we continue to hear success stories from the program – it is being recognized for enhancing engagement among our province's students and encouraging increases in attendance and graduation rates."
Connie Bailey, President
Saskatchewan School Boards Association
News Release: Harper Government invests in Aboriginal People Living in Urban Centres
Backgrounder: Urban Aboriginal Programming, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Fact Sheet: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy: Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Supports
Frequently Asked Questions: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy
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SOURCE Government of Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160