Gateway Gazette

Government of Canada Announces New Federal Investment to Strengthen the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women in Southern Alberta

LETHBRIDGE, ABMay 10, 2019 /CNW/ – Indigenous women hold important places as leaders in their families and communities, as givers and caretakers of life, as peacemakers, peacekeepers, and protectors. By creating the conditions for Indigenous women to succeed, we are supporting their families and communities, which will help improve their economic well-being and strengthen Canada’s economy.

Today the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced an important investment to help advance the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women in southern Alberta.

Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, based in Lethbridge, is receiving $350,000 for a three-year project entitled Blackfoot Women’s Empowerment from Security to Prosperity that will empower Blackfoot women to overcome the social, economic, and geographic barriers to their prosperity, whether they live on or off reserve. Opokaa’sin will encourage Indigenous women in Blackfoot confederacies to participate in leadership roles, conduct a Gender-based Analysis Plus on the role of women in cultural and community practices, and develop and implement a strategy to advance the economic security of women in all Blackfoot confederacies.

This is one of 15 projects receiving funding through the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s call for proposals Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women.

Quotes

“When we invest in women, we strengthen the economy and our communities for everyone. By funding organizations like Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, that address the very real barriers that Indigenous women face, we are ensuring that all women have an equal and fair chance at success. It’s not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Indigenous women have the talent, leadership, and ingenuity to inspire positive change and that is why the Government of Canada is proud to support projects like this.” 

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Since our inception, Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society’s mission has been to nurture and support the strengths and resilience of Indigenous families, children, and youth. With this investment, we will empower Indigenous women with culturally appropriate community responses about economic prosperity for the benefit of all nations within the Blackfoot Confederacy.”

Tanya Pace-Crosschild, C.E.O
Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society

Quick Facts

  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for all women—such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce—Canada could add $150 billionto its economy by 2026.
  • The Indigenous population is growing at four times the rate of non-Indigenous Canadians and represents an enormous pool of talent. As part of this cohort, Indigenous women play a vital role in our economy and have outstanding potential for growth.
  • The 2016 Census indicated that there were 860,265 Indigenous women and girls in Canada. These women were more likely than Indigenous men to have a university degree. They were also the majority owners of more than one quarter of all Indigenous small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada according to the 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Economic security and prosperity are composed of basic social security, defined by access to basic needs such as health, education and housing on a long-term basis.
  • The Women’s Program at the Department for Women and Gender Equality supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Inuit, First Nations, and the Métis Nation. The focus is on building a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, one based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

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Backgrounder

Department for Women and Gender Equality – Women’s Program

One of the ways the Department for Women and Gender Equality advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.

The Women’s Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women’s participation and equality in Canadian society in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls, improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls, and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Calls for Proposals – Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women

On October 2, 2017, the Minister launched a call for proposals entitled Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women for projects to address the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women and advance gender equality in Canada. Fifteen projects across the country are receiving close to $5 million in funding through this call for proposals.

With this call for proposals, Indigenous organizations and governments were invited to implement projects designed to advance economic security and prosperity for Indigenous women by engaging them, their communities and the private sector to build on their strengths, identify opportunities, and address issues affecting their economic security or limiting their economic success.

Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society

Established in 1996, Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society’s mandate is to strengthen and nurture Indigenous families through Blackfoot ways of knowing. The organization is committed to building strong, resilient communities by working with families using a holistic and Indigenous approach, and recognizing the need for community collaboration and connection.

Project Description

Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society is receiving $350,000 for a three-year project entitled Blackfoot Women’s Empowerment from Security to Prosperity that will empower Blackfoot women to overcome the social, economic, and geographic barriers to their prosperity, whether they live on or off reserve. Opokaa’sin will encourage Indigenous women in Blackfoot confederacies to participate in leadership roles, conduct a Gender-based Analysis Plus on the role of women in cultural and community practices, and develop and implement a strategy to advance the economic security of women in all Blackfoot confederacies.

The project is bringing together three community partners to support its objectives, including the Centre for Oral History and Tradition, the Sik Ooh Kotoki Friendship Centre, and the Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre.

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SOURCE Department for Women and Gender Equality


Piita – Blackfoot for Eagle, sharing & teaching our Blackfoot language with the little ones

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