Edmonton, Alberta, June 23, 2015– The Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) has announced the results of the Call for Proposals for the 2015-2016 Urban Partnerships Program, established under the recently realigned Urban Aboriginal Strategy. Please see attached release UP Press Release – UP 2015-16 Results
Recipients for the 2015-16 UP Program- for projects occurring between April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016:
1. Athabasca Native Friendship Centre Society – Moving Forward: Pathways to Aboriginal Success – Our initiative is about sharing and generating knowledge and transforming this knowledge into abilities. We will start out with a ‘Living in Athabasca Skills Seminar Series’ that would introduce newcomers to the community to a variety of topics that pertain to adjusting to life in a new place. The seminars depending on the subject will develop into bigger workshops that will provide a deeper understanding and eventually develop meaningful skills. The initiative will contribute to increasing Indigenous people’s participation in the economy as the seminars and workshops will expose urban Indigenous people to important information that affects everyday living. As knowledge is increased and new skills developed, confidence is increased. Seminars and workshops are centered around topics of soundness including personal finances, healthcare, food security, communication and recreation/balance. Topics such as personal finances are directly related to an active participation in the economy. Communication has a more indirect connection but is still profound as improving literacy skills makes as completing a postsecondary education, writing a resume or being interviewed and easier process. All of these are necessary to be part of today’s job force but can become an unnecessary hurdle without sufficient communication abilities.
2. Bonnyville Canadian Native Friendship Centre – Bonnyville Aboriginal Youth Club – The Bonnyville Aboriginal Youth Club is a project that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together in a safe, non-judgmental environment to facilitate a culture of respect and self-advocacy through leadership, employment training, health, social activities and participation in the community.
3. SCcyber E-Learning Community(Calgary) – SCcyber E- Learning Community Calgary Campus – The SCcyber E-Learning Community is a unique program that utilizes technology in its educational application and delivery to provide educational access for Indigenous People and those of Indigenous descent engagement in the Canadian economy. The SCcyber E-Learning program can be designed to act as “the educational site” or a “supporting program” accenting to support deficiencies within a current system of educational delivery.
This collaborative model allows SCcyber to work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit and people of Indigenous descent within Calgary; within the structure of existing services providing educational access and support for clients seeking High School graduation, post-secondary entrance or work related course access and support. The SCcyber model is geared towards Indigenous learners, and provides cultural components to help learners embrace their culture and personal identity.
4. Calgary John Howard Society- Aboriginal Youth Outreach Program- The Aboriginal Youth Outreach Program (AYOP) supports multi-barriered Indigenous youth aged 12 to 24 who may have been involved with, or are at-risk of involvement with the criminal justice system. The program offers client-centred case management, community outreach, and advocacy to promote a positive lifestyle. Youth are assisted in reuniting with their culture and families through the inclusion of Indigenous ceremonies and activities offered on-site and in the community.
5. Riel Institute for Education and Learning(Calgary) – Aboriginal Family and Youth Support – Riel Institute delivers the Aboriginal Youth Connections program to at risk youth in the Calgary area. This program includes 12 weeks Group based skills including: employabilities, life enhancement and career explorations. We follow the group-based programming with a 12 week supported work placement. Cultural programming and elder support is woven throughout the project. Funding from Service Canada provides a minimum wage stipend for participants.
6. John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (Edmonton) – Youth Action Project on Poverty: Decriminalization and Sensitization – The Youth Action Project on Poverty: Decriminalization and Sensitization is an impactful and powerful project, aiming to bring awareness and understanding of the criminalization of poverty and its unique impacts on individuals and communities. The project will enable a team of young Edmontonians, with a focus on Indigenous youth, to engage on the barriers of criminalization and stigma and build tangible strategies to affect change in policy and programming. They will also foster a deeper community understanding of poverty and its intersection with criminality through a public awareness campaign and criminalization simulation.
Youth in this project will gain valuable skills in marketing, communications, research, public education, public relations, self advocacy, political advocacy and more. They will learn how to take a project from beginning to end and understand how they can affect positive social change.
7. Aboriginal Learning Services, Edmonton Catholic School Division – Braided Journeys Career Mentoring Project – To enable Indigenous youth to fully participate in educational programs and the current labour market they must be given the tools to find their way in a mainstream society that often alienates them due to academic, economic and social barriers. By coming together in a unique partnership Aboriginal Learning Services: Edmonton Catholic Schools and Urban Partnerships can offer a youth career mentoring project that recognizes the socio-economic, cultural and academic needs of Indigenous youth in Edmonton.
8. Boyle Street Community Services – Status Cards – Edmonton Safe ID Storage Service- The Edmonton Safe ID Storage Service (ESIDSS) was launched in August 2011 by Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS), to address fundamental barriers to the acquisition and maintenance of personal identification among people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness, and who are vulnerable to loss of identification through theft, or lack of appropriate secure space to house their identification. Through this initiative, ESIDSS is working to mobilize urban Indigenous individuals, communities and stakeholders towards positive systemic change so as to positively impact economic participation of Indigenous people in all areas of the economy. Being able to obtain their Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card, First Nations people have access to a wide range of services and benefits administered by federal and provincial governments, such as healthcare and housing initiatives, as well as, other private sector program and service providers.Through the efforts of this proposal, barriers such as poverty, homelessness and limited access to employment and education will be reduced, allowing First Nations people to walk with pride in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. More profoundly, the SCIS card connects them to their own Band and people, reminding them that they belong to a culturally rich, spiritual, and vibrant community!
9. Grande Prairie Friendship Centre – Mikis – Bead – Mikis is a Cree word-meaning bead.
The Mikis, Bead project supports Indigenous women from all walks of life in coming together to honor who they are and learn more about their culture while obtaining economically sound skills. The Mikis, Bead project will support women and girls in creating and following a new path for themselves and their families. Together we will hold our heads high, contribute to the economy and celebrate and honor our artistic traditions.
Women will be introduced to a wide variety of Indigenous arts such as; beading, moss bag making, moccasin making, drum and rattle making, creating of birch bark baskets, Indigenous jewelry etc. While they are learning these new skills they will also being hearing stories and learning more about their Indigenous culture through Elders and Storytellers. This will support the women in sorting through the daily confusion of the world and encourage lifetime friendships and supports.
10. Grande Prairie Friendship Centre – Pitone Children and Youth Project – Pitone is a Cree word meaning hope. Hope is the essence of the youth program. Hope for our children and youth to be afforded the opportunity to grow and learn and become the people they were meant to be.
Pitone Children & Youth Project will offer support and opportunities to children and youth through an outreach model that is receptive to at risk youth and is inclusive of opportunities for enhanced skills that address self-advocacy, utilization of community resources and healthy life style choices. Programming will also introduce new skills that addressing further independence, enlightened education choices and training options.
11. High Level Native Friendship Centre – Bridges Transitions to Success – This innovative program will provide program participants with a holistic, supported, and resource Focused transition into our northern urban community. This will empower them to develop the acquired skills, knowledge, and training to be successful in all areas of their lives; emotional, physical, spiritual and mental. Urban Indigenous clients will increase their empowerment through understanding their barriers to successfully developing healthy coping skills, identifying their strengths/talents and having their own individualized this action plan based on the Medicine wheel. This plan will include the required community resources needed to help participants meet their goals. Thus, clients will be prepared when returning to school and/or joining the work force.
12. High Prairie Native Friendship Centre Society – High Prairie Emergency Fire Fighting Type 1 Training Program – High Prairie Native Friendship Centre in partnership with Alberta Sustainable Resources will be providing a FREE 3 week Type 1 Fire Fighting (FTAC) Training Program with added St. John’s First Aid & Chainsaw Safety Level II training in April & May 2015. This is the minimum requirement to be hired on a wildfire crew. The added components of Chainsaw Safety Level II and St. John’s First Aid will allow work in winter months with related Forestry industry jobs.
13. Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre – Aboriginal Women of Confidence Project – The intent of the Aboriginal Women’s Empowerment Project is to increase Indigenous women’s leadership capacity by reclaiming their position found in traditional women’s teachings and combining it with the exploration of contemporary self-reliance opportunities such as entrepreneurship, women in trades, securing well-paying jobs, as well as benefits to support the needs of both individuals and their families, etc. Over the course of an eight week group session, women will come together in a class of 15 to learn critical skills and access new resources. With a curriculum that meets them where they are, Indigenous women will begin their journey to achieving self-sufficiency and active participation within Canada’s economy. Beyond the classroom, women will become catalysts for progress and change, creating ripple effects within their families and their communities.
14. Lloydminster Friendship Centre- Community Learning Centre (CLC) project – The Community Learning Centre (CLC) project will act as a gateway to adult learning opportunities for unemployed or marginally employed urban Indigenous youth. Participants will gain the necessary academic competencies at a Grade 10 to 12 educational level to obtain employment and/or pursue further training in apprenticeship, technical, business, college or university programs.
The project will contribute to increasing Indigenous peoples’ participation in the economy by:
• improving participants’ education levels resulting in increased employment prospects; improved chances of attaining higher-level, long-term jobs; qualify them for job promotions and would provide a role model for their children and other family members to emulate; and
• providing information, guidance and supports to transition into apprenticeship, technical, business, college or university programs; and
• a range of supports and services, such as educational planning, guidance counselling, life skills, and mentoring
15. Region 6 Métis Nation of Alberta (Peace River) – Youth Moving Forward II – Region VI seeks to increase Indigenous participation in the economy and too enhance partnerships with Industry, Housing Programs, Small Business, High Schools and Colleges across the Region. Youth Moving Forward II will include a research project complete with evaluation on issues pertaining to Indigenous participation in the economy: one study would include researching our youth that are currently working for the “Carmen Creek Project” currently operating in Region VI area. Research would include:
o Cross cultural diversity
Region VI would like to conduct a pilot project & innovative approach to increase Indigenous participation: by infusing culture and awareness by doing cross cultural for:
16. Sagitawa Friendship Society (Peace River) – Aboriginal Awareness and Diversity Training – Our project will develop an area specific (Peace Region – Northwest Alberta) Aboriginal Awareness and Diversity Training Curriculum and delivery service component. Our project partners tell us they are lacking the specific understanding of Indigenous peoples in our area. Training will address history – local and the Canadian collective, residential school legacy, legislation, hunting and trapping rights, treaty rights, cultural ways, protocols etc.
By providing proper training, industry will be better suited to provide a safe and healthy workplace environment through the reduction of negative stereotypes, discrimination and racism. Policies will reflect an understanding of the Indigenous peoples’ perspective. Employee hiring practices and retention will be increased thereby providing opportunity for advancement and increasing Indigenous peoples’ participation in the economy. We will be connecting with surrounding First Nations reserves, Métis communities, and urban Indigenous peoples to hear their voices and gather knowledge with regards to how they would like a resource developed that best shares accurate information.
17. Sagitawa Friendship Society – ENGAGE – Youth Initiative – Our project will provide an opportunity for Indigenous youth to gain a variety of skills, habits and attitudes that promote successful academic achievement and participation in the economy. The project will embrace training and skill development from a holistic (intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical) perspective thereby building a foundation for success and further growth. Strong individual identity, self-awareness, self-esteem, and positive internal dialogue will be created allowing youth to set attainable educational and employment goals. Further to the training and skill development, youth will be engaged and mentored by community members as evident in our partnership letters. Youth will be connected with resources and services that assist in their development. By having youth as part of the planning process and linked to community they build capacity, resiliency, and connections. They will develop a strong work ethic, resourcefulness, and references all of which are needed in the workplace. Finally, we will be able to connect youth with employers, education and trades. In short, we will be developing leaders.
18. Red Deer Native Friendship Centre Society – Aboriginal Youth Centre for Success – Path to Employment Project – The mandate of AYCS is to provide wrap around supports and services using a case management service delivery model that will ensure stable and sustainable success to each member, as workers, leaders and parents and increase access to economic participation. The AYCS will provide youth 13-25 years old with a place of their own to improve immediate and long term social, educational, economic and health outcomes through supports and services that meet their individual and cultural needs and increase opportunity to participate in the local economy. Our project will offer four distinct streams of services:
1. Spirit Seekers Boys&Girls Club for youth ages 9-12; (off site in partnership with Red Deer Boys & Girls Club)
2. Aboriginal Youth Leadership Council Training/life skill and leadership development –youth 13-18
3. SCcyber school campus and learning mentor support-youth working on completion of grades 7-12
4. Employability Exploration career counseling/case management- youth ages 13-25
The project is designed for youth ages 14 – 25 years however there are some activities that are available for 10 – 24 years of age, they are outlined in the workplan.
19. Rocky Native Friendship Centre – Aboriginal Resource Centre – Governed by seven community elected Indigenous youth identified as; Chief & Council Portfolios; Courage, Honesty, Truth, Wisdom, Love, Humility & Respect. To demonstrate Leadership among peers, politics, parents and community regarding; awareness and understanding of the significant differences between Indigenous life/experiences/ perceptions and non-Indigenous life/experiences and perceptions. To develop Power Point presentations, workshops and forums that provides unique styles of learning and relationship building. To create common grounds that provides opportunities for community to celebrate and share our diverse cultures and backgrounds, enhancing the quality of life for community as a whole.
The ARC is for students, the centre offers a place to learn about their traditional Indigenous culture, consult with Elder, and access other resources. Students are offered courses such as Indigenous studies, as well as working toward class credits in areas of art and music. It serves as a culture based approach to support Indigenous students’ efforts to complete their programs and develop a deeper appreciation of their heritage. The centre is also open to community members who are looking to learn more about the Indigenous culture. Please feel free to visit this very unique setting and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and learning environment.
20. Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre – Community Helper Initiative – In partnership and collaboration with service and program providers, The Community Helper Initiative serves all areas of Indigenous youth mental wellness and family stability. Focusing on the interactive service delivery of job skills training and coaching, self-esteem building, team building, group recreational activities, leadership development, and stress management, the program engages Indigenous youth through fun, interesting, and meaningful youth-driven activities. While enhancing a social network for youth to access, participants will also enhance their self-reliance, self-esteem, and overall economic participation skills. This initiative will also introduce youth to other resources available that they may not be aware of.
21. Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre- Transition to Employment Initiative- This initiative, in collaboration with Alberta Works, assists multi-barriers individuals who access income support and subsidy programs to integrate into society as contributing members to the economy. Our organization refers clients to available and existing support programs and services. Where service and program gaps exist, we ensure client needs are met. Programs and services include (but are not limited to) literacy training, basic computer skills, traditional and non-traditional parenting, employment and interview preparation and coaching, life & coping skills, household financial management, employer mediation, and more. We recognize many multi-barrier clients are not comfortable within rigid government office settings and often feel judged and unwelcome. Our long-standing Indigenous organization gives all peoples a sense of adequacy, belonging, and safety; we bring services to our organization setting and offer a sense of “kookum’s house”, offering tea, coffee, food and laughter while enhancing the lives of urban Indigenous people and increasing their economic participation.