Ontario Trillium Foundation funds NAN Women's Development Project

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand
Chief RoseAnne Archibald together with Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation Chief
Connie Gray-McKay, NAN Women's Council member and spokesperson Jackie
Fletcher, and Members of Provincial Parliament Bill Mauro (Thunder
Bay-Atikokan) and Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North) this morning
announced an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) contribution to the NAN Women's
Development Project.
    A grant of $536,500 over three years will be utilized to develop the
capacity of women as leaders to achieve healthier communities within NAN
territory - an area covering two-thirds of the province of Ontario.
    "This is a monumental announcement that will prove to enhance the many
accomplishments and strides of the NAN Women's Council in the past year," said
NAN Deputy Grand Chief RoseAnne Archibald who represents 49 First Nation
communities across James Bay Treaty 9 territory and the Ontario portion of
Treaty 5. "Women have always been agents of positive change and healing in
their communities and by empowering and engaging women to contribute their
ideas and perspectives, we're strengthening our communities."
    The NAN Women's Development Project takes a groundbreaking and strategic
approach to building healthy, vibrant communities, including the development
of women's circles in each of NAN's 49 communities (16/year) and a video
documentary capturing the progress and impact of the project.
    "The project will develop and empower women as agents of positive social
change," said NAN Women's Council member and spokesperson Jackie Fletcher.
"The four main components of our approach include integrated participatory
research, leadership development training, capacity building workshops, and
the establishment of NAN women's circles."
    Fletcher, together with NAN Deputy Grand Chief RoseAnne Archibald,
accepted a plaque from OTF Board member Donna Gilhooly and MPPs Mauro and
    "I am pleased that the province of Ontario is supporting such a
worthwhile program," said Bill Mauro, Member of Provincial Parliament (Thunder
Bay-Atikokan). "Providing infrastructure to support women's leadership
development not only benefits the women involved but also their families and
their communities."
    "I am very pleased that we are providing significant investment in the
Women's Development Project which will benefit all the NAN communities across
Ontario," said Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Gravelle (Thunder
Bay-Superior North). "Truly, community-based initiatives such as this one can
have a remarkable impact, and I am looking forward to the program's success
over the next few years."
    "Women are the foundation - the ones that educate our children," said
Connie Gray-McKay - Chief of one of NAN's 49 First Nation communities. "This
project will enhance the transfer of knowledge from women to children during
the foundational years that's so very important to family and community
development - it will help build a healthy foundation."

    Nishnawbe Aski Nation is an Aboriginal political organization
representing 49 First Nation communities within James Bay Treaty 9 and
Ontario's portion of Treaty 5. The NAN Women's Council, established in 2004,
ensures the on-going involvement of women in the decision making process of

    The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of
Ontario. For 25 years, it has supported the growth and vitality of communities
across the province. OTF continues to strengthen the capacity of the volunteer
sector through investments in community-based initiatives. For more
information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org.

For further information:

For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications,
Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952, (807) 628-3953 (mobile)

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