16/17 Projects – Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, August 25, 2016– The Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) has announced the results of the Call for Proposals for the 2016-17 Urban Partnerships Program, established under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy. Please see attached release UP Press Release – UP 2016-17 Results

For projects supported by the 2016-17 Urban Partnerships Program funding allocation; projects occurring between August 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017:

1. Athabasca Native Friendship Centre Society – Athabasca Aboriginal Youth Engagement – The Program will consist of engaging under resourced youth in the community of Athabasca by providing complimenting mental and physical health programming. This will be accomplished through our community’s Teen Centre outreach, our Homework Help Club and The Rob Nash Project. All of the programs will address the mental health needs of aboriginal, under resourced youth in the community and will raise their sense of self worth through developing assets and self-esteem.

2. Bonnyville Canadian Native Friendship Centre – Empowering our Youth – Empowering Our Youth is an immersive program designed to meet the needs of Aboriginal students by encompassing employable skills, fostering leadership, and promoting education. While working alongside multiple partners and with educational leaders, youth will engage in all aspects of starting your own business and running a social enterprise. With emphasis on mentoring, skill transfer and inclusion of Aboriginal culture, youth will exit the program with a certificate of completion and ready to tackle any challenges to their future success. Guided by the Medicine Wheel teachings, youth will engage in well-rounded activities designed to encourage self-esteem and to provide opportunities for them to make an impact in their community.

3. SCyber E-Learning Commnity – Literacy and Numeracy E-Learning – The SCcyber E-Learning Community is a unique program that utilizes technology in its educational application and delivery to provide educational access for Aboriginal People and those of Aboriginal descent.  This collaborative model allows SCcyber to work with Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis and people of Aboriginal descent within Calgary: within the structure of existing services providing educational access and support for students seeking literacy and numeracy programming.  SCcyber is seeking an agreement for of these services to Urban Calgary for Numeracy levels 1-3 and Literacy levels 1-3, for students who require increased literacy and numeracy skills.  This will allow learners to move towards academic upgrading or employment. Information sessions will be held on a regular basis to ensure those at high risk are being reached out to and engaged.

4. Pathways Community Services Association – Iksokapi (“it’s all good” in Blackfoot) – Iksokapi is a community program for comprehensive youth leadership development with urban Aboriginal youth. Iksokapi engages at-risk youth in wrap-around instruction, cohort support, mentorship, and connection to community in order to foster leadership and skill-building development.  Weekly sessions are designed to enhance social competence and leadership skills while building Aboriginal cultural identity through involvement in Social Projects that connect youth with their interests, talents, and community networks.  Within and outside of the weekly sessions, cohort members will build strong relationships with a coordinator who will help youth access ceremony and Elder supports, help with community referrals, help youth access recreational, life-skills, and volunteer opportunities, and ensure other needs of the youth are being met.  Cohort members will choose an issue (Social Project) and design creative solutions for change through a self- and group-directed process within the overall structure of the program.  Iksokapi targets Aboriginal youth (ages 13-20) who are living in the City of Calgary.

5. Be Fit For Life (University of Calgary) – Building Strong Foundations – Building Strong Foundations is a project aimed at linking physical literacy and culture for Aboriginal children aged 0 – 5, early childhood educators, childcare providers and parents. The project will involve the creation of a movement based children’s book, lesson plans to support the development of physical literacy in a childcare or program environment, parent and family education around physical literacy, cultural training for BFFL Centre’s and partner organizations and capacity building within the community to leverage partnerships between BFFL Centre’s and the Aboriginal community.

6. Metis Calgary Family Services Society – Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth – Urban Aboriginal youth are connected through relevant cultural experiences guiding a path chosen by the youth, in a safe, authentic environment of positive peers and cultural mentors.  This opportunity instills real life living skills that are tuned to the dynamic the youth encounter daily in urban Calgary.  This process addresses bias and systemic challenges faced by the youth while they embark on an enriched, urban aboriginal cultural path. This project engages youth but also involves families, community, and supported by ceremonial Elders.  The project culminates with a showcase of the youths cultural accomplishments, reinforcing reconciliation that is fundamental to participation in the economy while strengthening educational pursuits for urban Aboriginal youth.

7. Calgary Alpha House Society – Cultural Reconnection, A Year of Reconciliation – The purpose of this project is to build on and further develop/enhance our Aboriginal Cultural program at Alpha House.  Findings from our 2012 study (Alpha House and the University of Calgary) Understanding Cultural Safety: Traditional and Client Perspectives, (Thurston, Bird, Turner, Oelke, Ewenin, Fisher and Christiansen) recommended that funding bodies provide motivation and practical financial support for projects that help organizations move along the cultural competencies spectrum.    We seek to build on these recommendations by expanding our cultural program in partnership with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary (AFCC) and other community partners through the creation of a series of cultural camps and programs that support ongoing healing, recovery and a sense of community for our clients who struggle with addictions, mental health and homelessness.  Fifty percent of the client base at Alpha House is of Aboriginal background.  The camps and programs would include components that have meaning for our clients; sharing in ceremony, prayers, smudging and sweat lodge practices have been key in supporting recovery and healing.

8. John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights – Advancing Reconciliation in Education – Recognizing that Indigenous children continue to be disenfranchised and not effectively supported in the school system, the Advancing Reconciliation in Education Project will spearhead educational efforts towards reconciliation at a school based and catchment level. This will be done through capturing and empowering Indigenous student voice and building a strengthened awareness among teachers and administration of their responsibilities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and the TRC Final Calls to Action. As a result of this project, teachers and administration will become responsive to the unaddressed needs of Indigenous students; young people will learn about and share their perspectives on the rights gaps that exist in education and identify concrete strategies for schools to shift their approach in working to support the rights of Indigenous students and address disenfranchisment.

9. Aboriginal Learning Services Edmonton Catholic Schools District No.7 – Bridging Futures – The Bridging Futures Project will enhance the capacity of urban Indigenous youth to be self-reliant by shifting attitudes and values that promote lifelong labour force attachment; transfer skills related to self-advocacy and navigating systems; healthy living; school attachment and bridging to work and post-secondary. Exposure to post-secondary and work experiences will broaden the horizon of future possibilities for participants while they discover their strengths, establish educational goals, build self-confidence and motivation needed to achieve their goals. Activities will empower youth to become leaders of character, vision and action by providing multi-component culturally based bridging experiences which will build on the award winning Braided Journeys Initiative currently being offered by Edmonton Catholic Schools.

10. iHuman Youth Society – Authenticity Programming – Embedded Cultural and Mental Health Activities For Healing – The proposed Authenticity Programming – Embedded Cultural and Mental Health Activities For Healing, project will offer urban Indigenous youth the opportunity to access mental health counselling, cultural and healing activities in nature that reconciles a young person to themselves and their community.  A Director of Authenticity Programs will oversee the development of the project under our Indigenous Policy Framework.  The youth identified that they need purposeful help with their overall well-being, especially their mental health, in order to progress and overcome fear and trauma associated with succeeding or accomplishing goals which put them on a path to participate in the economy.  Youth are not as prepared as they hoped – old and new traumas triggered self-sabotaging behaviours, which hampered progress.  Therefore this project will address these needs as identified by the youth during our TRC Recommendations Circle.

11. West 6 Schools – West 6 Schools First Nations, Métis and Inuit Academic Achievement – First Nations, Métis and Inuit kindergarten to grade 6 students attending the West 6 schools will be supported through the work of the Cultural Team, towards students’ academic, familial, cultural and community needs. The program will link Indigenous youth, parents, and school administration with various school programs and community programs that provide solutions to barriers affecting participation in education and the economy, such as skills development and literacy. FNMI Liaisons, working with Elders, increase the level of awareness and appreciation of FNMI education and cultures within the school environment, providing assistance to children, families, teachers, and school administration, to better meet the social and cultural needs of the whole school community. Mentors and group programs through the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society provide students with community cultural supports that foster resilience through inclusive community activities based in First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultural traditions, values and spirituality. The FNMI Liaisons, Bent Arrow Program Facilitators and Elders will work together in a collaborative community process, to develop supports that are better able to engage students and families in the West 6 schools’ environments, working to close achievement gaps in the Edmonton Public School District between FNMI and non-FNMI students in Prince Charles School, Inglewood School, Belmead School, Brightview School, Athlone School and Sherwood School.

12. Alberta Teachers’ Association, Everactive Schools – Miyomahchihowin; In Good Health – To provide pathways for Edmonton Aboriginal Youth to skills and employment in good health. With a foundation of Dr Brokenleg’s Circle of Courage and the 4 R’s by Kirkness (Respect, Relevance, Responsibility and Reciprocity), Miyomahchihowin aims to listen to youth and develop skills and job creation in areas of sport, recreation, health and physical fitness, and will overcome barriers and challenges in seeking education, training and jobs.   Working with partners and future employers through social innovation labs, common issues will be addressed and will set a pathway for well-being and employment.

13. InMotion Network – Find Your Passion, Fuel Your Passion, Teach Your Passion – The primary focus of this initiative is to increase the participation of Indigenous girls and women as participants, athletes, coaches, officials and leaders – raising the concept that lifelong participation may result not only in improved mental and physical health but sport can and does become a viable employment opportunity.  The secondary focus of the initiative is to increase the interaction between mainstream sport participants and Indigenous girls and women, leading to a greater level of respect, acceptance, and inclusion thus offering a reduction to racism.  Families of participants would have opportunities for increased interaction focusing on similarities rather than differences. Phase one consists of a 2 day sport weekend where all participants will be exposed to four ½ day sport specific workshops.  Phase two is a 20-24 week sport specific training program chosen by the participants at the end of phase 1.  Phase three is the identification and mentoring as apprentice coaches through to development as NCCP Community level coaches.

14. Inuit Edmontonmiut Society – Ilinniaapa – To strive to learn it – Ilinniaapa – The Inuktitut language demonstrates the word, ilinniaapa as meaning, “to strive to learn it” indicating a positive approach to education, and the determination to succeed and complete a task. Illnniaapa is an Inuit-specific post-secondary progressive educational mentorship program dedicated to Inuit students attending university or technical institutions within the Edmonton Capital Region. This program is a multi-layered support system, whereby academic and culturally appropriate practices will be provided. The goal of this program is to maintain and increase Inuit student success rates and capacity building for their futures. Through the membership of Inuit Edmontonmiut educational support will be provided to Inuk post-secondary students by offering to each student one-on-one tutoring, mentorship, Inuktitut language, culturally specific gatherings, food, and celebration as they transition into living within an urban context.

15. Edson Friendship Centre – Supportive Pathways, Housing Plus Second Phase – This is the second phase of the Housing Plus+ program. The first successful phase centered on community engagement and establishing collaborative partnerships with other service providers/programs in the area of service (Town of Edson and Yellowhead County area).The second phase will focus on client services: case management via collaborative practice, finding and maintaining stable housing, education and connections to needed support services with emphasis on harm reduction and promoting healthy lifestyles.

16. Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre – Fostering the Aboriginal Child and Youth Experience – This project will focus on the creation of a strengths-based approach to ensure aboriginal children and youth living in our community will have the support to reach their full life potential when they experience life circumstances that seriously challenge their social and emotional well-being.It is well known that aboriginal children and youth have higher rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide and health-related issues than mainstream children and youth.  This initiative will provide safe, consistent and culturally tailored programming which will help aboriginal children and youth make connections at school, at home and in their community while engaging aboriginal and mainstream support and resource organizations in the community to work together to address the needs of our children and youth.

17. Grande Prairie Friendship Centre – GPFC Youth Community Supports – Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Youth Community Supports will provide a circle of inclusive programming for Urban Indigenous young people, specifically supporting children and youth who are statistically shown to be at-risk. Youth will be contributors of the economy through leadership development, knowledge of community resources, increase awareness of cultural identity, connection to land, skill development, self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship, health knowledge and personal development and goal setting.The path of moving forward has been set as a result of the TRC and Calls for Actions. This project will create a circle of supports to wrap around our young people; helping them to understand their role in our future’s history of healing, growth and health.  When appropriate, family activities will be planned, to allow for holistic programming that supports the family and community as a whole, while allowing for facilitation of individual growth and participation in the economy.

Intergenerational mentorship will be available, also allowing for Elders to take their place across the fire from young people once again.  This program will include Elders’ teachings, healing art projects, cultural projects, life skills, and traditional teaching methods.

18. High Level Native Friendship Centre Society – High Level Youth Reconciliation Project – Our project will be a collaborative, integrated project for Youth Reconciliation in the Town of High Level, Alberta. We will establish ourselves in positions that will be guided by the TRC 94 Recommendations with respect to reconciliation targeting the youth population. We have secured a major partner; The Town of High Level to integrate our existing programming and work as a collective with all youth in the community to share, educate, inspire, and bring awareness, education and provide opportunities so youth can benefit through growth and change as we walk together and focus on areas of cultural sensitivity to break the barriers that cause systemic racism, suicide, bullying and other factors that lead to truancy, attendance issues, and reduce high school drop-out rates for Aboriginal youth, we aspire to shift attitudes, behaviors, and values, so that youth are provided with opportunities to participate as equals in the economy.

19. High Prairie Native Friendship Centre Society – Women’s Healing Program  (Victim to Survivor) – Paving the Road to Recovery – In partnership with local organizations and an Elder, we will provide a community-based project to assist both victimized women, and women living with low incomes, to rebuild and/or improve their lives.Using a holistic approach and an Elder’s teachings, the women will participate in a 6 week program to connect with their culture & heal using the “Spirit of Seven Sacred Teachings”, gain basic living skills, and have the opportunity to participate in numerous employment training activities and courses.  The project will be available four times a year (4 Sessions), starting September 2016.  The program will continue in November 2016, January 2017, and March 2017.

20. Hinton Friendship Centre – Full Circle Transition – The philosophy of this project is to teach today for a healthy tomorrow. We will encompass the families of the community to make them stronger in mind, body, emotion, and spirit. We will assist them in preparing to work and provide balance in their medicine wheels in their family lives. The long term goal is to have these values passed on to their children so they can be balanced in their medicine wheel.

21. Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association – Indigenous Spirit Creations – The Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association will develop Indigenous Spirit Creations, a for profit venture that will employ Indigenous people, strengthen partnerships within the community, support and promote local Indigenous artisans and revitalize traditional teachings and practices.  A Project Developer will be employed on a full time basis to design, develop and implement a marketable cultural experience business plan creating potential opportunities for the organization within the hospitality and tourism industry.

22. Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre – Stepping Forward – Employment Transitons – We will establish the Stepping Forward – Employment Transitions program which will provide an accessible urban Aboriginal employment services centre resulting in improved Aboriginal employment and retention rates.  The Program will be reflective of individual needs and stages in job search process. Participants will experience a supportive, culturally appropriate environment in which to develop employability skills and establish community networks while transitioning into employment.  We will provide work placement assistance and maintain follow-up coaching to increase participant success.

23. Northwest Development Society – True North Youth Environmental Opportunity – Our proposal is geared towards assisting youth to gain skills that will benefit throughout their lives. Youth will have the ability to learn by field experience how to identify plants, trees, water and fish health, knowledge of flora and fauna in the Northwest Region of Alberta.  Identify threats and changes to our way of life. Northwest Development Society will provide knowledge and skills in environmental & Traditional Land Use by partnering with TransCanada, ACME, and Elders. 

24. Napi Friendship Association – Napi Youth Empowerment Group – The Napi Youth Empowerment Group (NYEG) will develop and implement programs that youth will have the necessary tools and skills to strive in the economy. These programs in the Empowerment Group are:

  • Engage youth and stakeholders – youth advisory committee, subcommittee
  • Projects that assist in leadership
  • Projects that support urban aboriginal youth – first aid, babysitting, food handling, Traditional Life Skills part 1 and Traditional Life Skills part 2
  • Cultural and language development program
  • Recreational – provide balance to their lives and being fit.

 The NYEG will provide opportunities for upstream involvement and input by the youth with respect to youth programming and activities and events at the Centre.  With guidance from elders and the community, the youth enhance their skills and be provides the tools and resources.

25. Urban Aboriginal Voices Society – UAVS Implementation Project – The project will create and carry out an implementation plan based on the recommendations made from the Urban Aboriginal Strategic Plan for Red Deer. The Urban Aboriginal Strategic Plan was rolled out from Urban Aboriginal Voices Society (UAVS) last funded project. This detrimental in ensuring the Urban Aboriginal Community voice is being heard and that their recommendations are being implemented into the community of Red Deer, specifically at a municipal level. 

26. Red Deer Native Friendship Society – Indigenous Youth Change Makers – During the Urban Aboriginal Strategy regional consultation of youth Aboriginal Youth Centre for Success participants and youth from Urban Aboriginal Voices met to discuss the question “What does our youth community need to be healthy?”   The program described below is in response to their suggestions to create a personal development program that would address urban indigenous youth issues,   develop cultural identity, improve academic achievement and prepare youth for employment.  The Red Deer Native Friendship Society will build on their current partnership with the Red Deer Public School district and with The Leadership Networks to deliver a program of personal development and leadership capacity building to youth ages 13-16 and 17-25 based on cultural knowledge,  lifeskill development, enhanced self-esteem toward self-advocacy,  healthy living, and systems navigation for employment and post-secondary education.   The concept of Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship will be explored.

27. Rocky Native Friendship Centre Society – The Lodge of Circles – The Lodge of Circles is a Cultural Healing program especially designed to support Aboriginal youth, children and families. The program focuses on facilitating life skills through culturally appropriate methods empowering Aboriginal youth, while encouraging future education and employment. This program aims at breaking the cycle of violence, abuse, addictions and suicide rate through development of a healthy lifestyle.

The Lodge of Circles is a supportive and holistic program that encourages youth in participating in their own spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical well being. This will be achieved though the teachings of the Medicine Wheel while seeking harmony and balance from all four directions.

28. Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre – Housing First for Slave Lake (Phase 3) – Housing First for Slave Lake is entering into phase 3 of implementing a Rural Homeless Eradication Strategy. We have coordinated stakeholders to operate a temporary, overnight, homeless shelter in our northern community with a long term vision to establish a permanent resident to assist persons overcome homelessness.Phase 3 of the initiative will conclude the rural homeless research project – “who are the homeless?” and implement strategies and policies into the rural homeless eradication strategy and model. The final research component will begin in October 2016 to identify Social Return on Investment specific to rural costs analysis. In addition, final research reports and programs reports will be presented to the Municipal District and Municipality for err marked, operational funding under “prevention” program parameters.

“Housing First, which is distinct and separate from “rapid re-housing”, is a relatively recent innovation in human service programs and social policy regarding treatment of the homeless and is an alternative to a system of emergency shelter/transitional housing progressions. Rather than moving homeless individuals through different “levels” of housing, known as the Continuum of Care, whereby each level moves them closer to “independent housing” (for example: from the streets to a public shelter, and from a public shelter to a transitional housing program, and from there to their own apartment in the community) Housing First moves the homeless individual or household immediately from the streets or homeless shelters into their own apartments.

“Housing First approaches are based on the concept that a homeless individual or household’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can and should be addressed once housing is obtained. In contrast, many other programs operate from a model of “housing readiness” — that is, that an individual or household must address other issues that may have led to the episode of homelessness prior to entering housing.”
– Wikipedia

29. Family and Community Support Services, City of Wetaskiwin – Aboriginal Youth Leadership – The Aboriginal Youth Leadership (AYL) project will engage urban Aboriginal youth to become leaders in the City of Wetaskiwin.  With guidance and mentoring from local Elders, Aboriginal youth will promote and teach cultural games and activities to community members, developing skills and capabilities that will enhance their ability to be leaders, coaches and mentors.  Aboriginal youth gain leadership and life enhancing skills and economic barriers such as racism and discrimination will be reduced.