The Urban Partnership Program is one of the two available funding streams made possible by the new Urban Aboriginal Strategy through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Funding for the Urban Partnerships Program is distributed by the National Association of Friendship Centres and administered by Regional Provincial/Territorial Associations to meet the needs of urban Indigenous peoples across the country. The Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association, an affiliate Provincial/Territorial Associations of the National Association of Friendship Centres, will fulfill the administration role for the Urban Partnerships program in the Alberta region.
The Urban Partnerships program is intended to fund projects and initiatives that will aim to increase the participation of urban Indigenous people in the economy. The overarching approach to achieve this outcome is through the development and/or enhancement of partnerships at the community, regional and national level. Funded Alberta projects are expected to support the transitions of Indigenous people from reserves, settlements and northern and remote communities to urban Alberta communities, and to attract additional investments towards the objective of increasing Indigenous peoples’ participation in the economy.
The Urban Partnerships Program funds projects under 3 different streams. The following is a brief description of each of the three funding streams.
In order to address the fastest growing sector of the population, the UP program aims to support youth to engage in the Canadian economy by reducing or removing barriers to participation.
Under the Youth activity stream, main project activities should fall under one or more of these categories:
- Projects and initiatives that support enhanced capacity of urban Indigenous youth to be self-reliant that shift attitudes and values that promote increased participation in the economy and lifelong labour force attachment;
- Projects that transfer skills related to self-advocacy, systems navigation, healthy living, and life-skill development;
- Projects that provide educational supports, including but not limited to stay in school and return to school initiatives at the secondary school level, mentoring and tutoring;
- Projects that assist in skill acquisition and knowledge transfer, by bridging or enabling youth to access employment and training programs and opportunities, and/or self-employment training, which are not available through other existing program resources.
All projects under the innovation stream must identify and incorporate how their project is innovative. Under the Innovation activity stream, main project activities should fall under one or more of these categories:
- A unique approach to anti-discrimination or to improving self-reliance or to poverty reduction of urban Indigenous people as it relates to removing or reducing barriers to economic participation;
- New research on issues that prevent participation in the economy;
- Redesigning or redevelopment of an existing program or project to be culturally-based which will increase participation of urban Indigenous people in the economy.
- Projects that engage and bring together urban Indigenous individuals, communities, and other stakeholders to address systemic challenges in novel or untested ways and aim to mobilize positive systemic change so as to positively impact economic participation of urban Indigenous people.
Social Enterprise and Social Innovation (SESE)
Under the Social Enterprise and Social Innovation activity stream, main project activities should fall under one or more of these categories:
- Organizational learning and capacity building for the support of social enterprise and social economy initiatives including:
o Training and knowledge transfer
o Feasibility study
o Marketing plan
o Business plan
- Projects that support business start-up or pilot projects that are designed to increase participation in the economy with a strong focus on skill development;
- Expanding successful existing social enterprises that help reduce barriers to participation in the economy.
In Alberta the UP Program is administered by the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA). For more information please contact Emilea Saadeh, UP Administrator, at email@example.com.