WENDAKE, QC, April 5, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, are proud to announce the official launch of the New Pathways: Foundation for the future of the First Nations. The mission of the Foundation is to contribute to improving the conditions of life of the First Nations by funding projects targeting social and human development within their communities.
The New Pathways Foundation is the result of the work that has been carried out over the past few years by many people and organisations. It is in line with the objectives of the fight against poverty initiative of the First Nations of Quebec. This initiative was created thanks to support from the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.
New Pathways is innovative: it is the first foundation that is devoted to fighting poverty among the First Nations in Canada. Created by the setting, it is funded, among others, by First Nations who are committed to the future of the youth. The money collected to date has already allowed for contributing to two projects: the Wapikoni Mobile and the Young Musicians of the World - Kitcisakik School. "The First Nations are all committed to improving their conditions of life. The New Pathways Foundation is a concrete manifestation of this commitment - it's an additional tool in our hands that is focused on development. I am very proud of it" declared Chief Ghislain Picard.
"As the Minister in charge of Aboriginal affairs, I am very pleased with the establishment of this type of initiative stemming from people in the setting. I am convinced that the Foundation will make contributions to many projects that are important to the communities. It is with great pleasure that I am providing a contribution today of 10 000 dollars for the New Pathways Foundation" added Minister Kelley.
The deplorable socio-economic conditions in which the First Nations are living justify the establishment of such an entity. Among other things, the Foundation is looking to address the chronic under-funding of the programs intended for First Nations in areas such as education, housing, health, economic development, etc. Since it is aware that it will not be able to address all the needs, the Foundation wishes to work in partnership with other organisations and is also seeking generosity from the entire population.
A few statistics
In 2007-2008, Canada was ranked third in the world according to the United Nations' Human Development Index. According to the Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations were ranked 68th in the world.
The dimensions of poverty - under-education, unemployment, lack of quality housing, anemic economic development and social exclusion - constitute the main social determinants of health among the First Nations. These determinants partially explain the very poor health conditions of the individuals and the importance of the social problems that too many communities are afflicted with.
Why the youth?
According to Campaign 2000's 2008 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, one out of every four children from the First Nations communities is living in poverty, compared to one out of every nine children in Canada at large.
Among the First Nations of Quebec, 42% of the population is less than 25 years of age compared to 31% among the population of Quebec. It therefore appears evident that this portion of the population deserves all of the efforts that are essential to the development of its full potential.
For further information:
Cabinet of the Minister
in charge of Aboriginal affairs
Telephone: 418 646-9131