Gateway Gazette

Actions Underway to Improve Well-Being of Aboriginal Women

Multiple initiatives are being implemented to improve the educational outcomes and economic prosperity of Aboriginal women.

These actions are based on recommendations from the First Nations and Metis women’s councils on economic security. The councils were set up in 2013 to provide advice to government on improving the quality of life of Aboriginal women.

Both councils have submitted their first reports and the Alberta government has accepted all of the recommendations.

Each council has a five-year mandate and members will begin working on their next set of priority recommendations for 2015.

“The success of Aboriginal peoples – the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in Alberta – is integral to the future prosperity of this province. Aboriginal women are at the centres of their communities, and their well-being is a priority for my government.”

~ Jim Prentice, Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Relations

“When First Nations women are strong, the community is strong. Our council developed these recommendations to help ensure First Nations women have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential as everyone else.”

~ Koren Lightning Earle, northern co-chair, First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security

“We are pleased that the Government of Alberta is addressing some of the barriers to economic security. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with government to bring about needed changes for First Nations women and children.”

~ Grace Auger, southern co-chair, First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security

“To be fully contributing members of society, Metis and Inuit women need enhanced, user-friendly links to Aboriginal programs and services as well as predictable and ongoing funding for training and work experience. We are delighted that the government has accepted and will be acting on our recommendations.”

~ Sandra Sutter, incoming co-chair, Metis Women’s Council on Economic Security

In response to the recommendations, government will:

  • review the accountability for Aboriginal education funding to promote the need for setting local targets for achievement of outcomes of First Nation students and reporting on those outcomes;
  • develop a parent toolkit to help Aboriginal parents take a greater role in their children’s education;
  • continue funding for training and work experience for Metis and Inuit women through the Aboriginal Training to Employment Program and support for entrepreneurs through the Small Business Centre website;
  • assist with development of a Metis Women’s Social Enterprise Cooperative to promote, protect and sell authentic Metis arts and crafts through Business Link’s Aboriginal Business Development Services program;
  • develop a user-friendly portal to programs and services for Aboriginal people on www.alberta.ca.; and
  • continue to promote the Moose Hide Campaign and I Am A Kind Man program that take a stand against violence towards Aboriginal women.

Through these actions and other ongoing work, the Alberta government is committed to eliminating social and economic barriers to Aboriginal women’s success.

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