ONE X ONE children's charity and Assembly of First Nations announces investment in National First Nations School Nutrition Program

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - ONE X ONE Foundation, a charitable organization
committed to fighting poverty and preserving the lives of children in Canada
and around the world, and the Assembly of First Nations, the national
organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada, today announced
the launch of "National First Nations School Nutrition Program", a national
outreach initiative designed to provide First Nations children who live in
poverty with a school nutrition program. Ten First Nations schools and
communities across Canada will benefit from the investment beginning in
January 2008, with more schools scheduled to participate over the next year.
    "In order to learn properly and begin to reverse the unacceptably high
drop-out rate, our children need a proper breakfast and lunch at school," says
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine. "We have discovered
that a surprising number of schools do not have such programs, or have
inadequate snack programs. This partnership with ONE X ONE is a critical
component towards building healthy minds and bodies and towards building a
better future for our children and our communities."
    Plagued with unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing, illness and
suicide, First Nations face tremendous poverty and poor living conditions. The
National First Nations School Nutrition Program will benefit First Nations
communities by ensuring that First Nations children have access to a proper
breakfast and lunch at school - one of the basic building blocks to learning.
    The Assembly of First Nations asked 633 First Nations schools about the
need for a school meal program. Of the 250 schools that have replied to date,
all have identified the need for help. First Nations communities said the main
barrier to implementing a school nutrition program was lack of funding.
Accordingly, a funding gap exists for both communities with and without school
nutrition programs.
    "One of ONE X ONE's key priorities is to invest in Canada's children and
develop the leaders of our future," says Joelle Berdugo Adler, founder of ONE
X ONE. "The majority of ONE X ONE's domestic funds will be invested in First
Nations youth."
    The National First Nations School Nutrition Program announcement follows
a study released on Monday by Ottawa's Centre for the Study of Living
Standards. Using figures from the 2001 census, the study reveals that only 52
per cent of Canada's aboriginals earned a high school diploma compared to 70
per cent of non-aboriginals. The gap at the post-secondary level widens with
only 8.9 per cent of aboriginals graduating from university compared to almost
22 per cent of non-aboriginals. If the gap were closed, aboriginals would
benefit greatly, the study says.
    First Nations children have an increased risk of obesity and are more
likely to live in food-insecure households compared to the overall Canadian
population. Research supports the fact that school-based nutritional
interventions can have a positive impact on students' diet, health and
learning outcomes.
    The National First Nations School Nutrition Program will roll out in the
following 10 First Nations schools and their communities:

    School                             Community
    Hartley Bay Elementary and Junior  Hartley Bay First Nation
     Secondary School
    John Field Elementary              Gitanmaax Band Council, Hazelton
    Rosie Seymour Elementary           Canoe Creek Indian Band
    Abe Scatch Memorial School         Poplar Hill First Nation
    Deer Lake First Nation School      Deer Lake First Nation
    Keewaywin First Nation School      Keewaywin First Nation
    Kikendawt KiNomaadii Gamig         Dokis First Nation
    Mine Centre Public School          Mine Centre
    Peetabeck Academy Elementary       Fort Albany First Nation
    First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun     Mayo

    Velma Sutherland, principal of John Field Elementary in British Columbia,
is delighted to be chosen as one of the schools for the National First Nations
School Nutrition Program. "Some of our kids come to school hungry, and others
are making food choices that are fast and unhealthy. Refined carbohydrates are
often the main source of nutrition which increases the chances of health
problems such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The bottom line is that many of
our students do not get enough of the right kinds of food. This program will
help First Nations children thrive and learn to make better food choices for a
greater sense of self and well-being", says Sutherland.
    Paul Sparkes, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, CTVglobemedia
and ONE X ONE Board Member, will lead the implementation the National First
Nations School Nutrition Program across Canada.
    ONE X ONE is currently engaged in projects assisting children around the
world including "Free The Children", a high school development program for
girls in Kenya under the leadership of Belinda Stronach, "Healthy Kids
International" a children's medical program in Rwanda under the auspices of
Edward and Suzanne Rogers and a partnership with "Yéle Haiti", a movement
established by musician Wyclef Jean that provides aid, resources and
inspiration to the people of Haiti.

    About Assembly of First Nations
    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. For more information visit

    About ONE X ONE
    ONE X ONE is a non-profit foundation founded by Joelle Berdugo Adler in
2005. ONE X ONE is committed to preserving and improving the lives of children
in Canada and around the world. ONE X ONE is dedicated to helping create a
world where children can live safely and with dignity. For more information

    Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine and Joey Berdugo
Adler will be available for interviews and photos during Education Day at the
Rogers Centre Pow Wow on Friday, November 30 at 12:30 p.m.

For further information:

For further information: To coordinate interviews or obtain additional
information please contact: Gillian McArdle, Shauna Simons, Media Profile,
(416) 504-8464,,

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