OTTAWA, ONTARIO (July 30, 2012) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced that funding for the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth Program (CCAY) will now be made available for projects eligible under the programs new terms and conditions.
“Our objective is to deliver a program that is aligned with a priority we share with the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) : equipping young Aboriginal people with the skills and experiences they need to participate more fully in Canada’s economy,” said Minister Duncan. “I am pleased that we now have terms and conditions that will allow us to release funds to projects that will do just that.”
Funding for the CCAY program was temporarily frozen to allow a review of its terms and conditions to be undertaken. Working with the NAFC to ensure CCAY is meeting the most pressing needs of Aboriginal youth will lead to a more effective program that will ultimately help them to achieve the prosperity they seek, and that Canada needs. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) will continue to collaborate with the NAFC to address the needs of Aboriginal youth.
“Confirmation of the CCAY funds being unfrozen by the federal government is very positive news for Friendship Centres and for urban Aboriginal youth across this country,” said Vera Pawis Tabobondung, President of the NAFC. “I am very encouraged that the transfer of program responsibilities to AANDC at the beginning of the fiscal year has led to the stabilizing of these funds which means that youth programs can now be consistent year after year – the reliability of programming is critical for Aboriginal youth especially when developing job readiness skills that will lead to future employment,” she stated.
CCAY, with the new criteria, will continue to support community-based, youth-led activities. The program was transferred to AANDC on April 1, 2012, along with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program (AFCP) and Young Canada Works for Aboriginal Urban Youth (YCW). AANDC is working to align these programs with the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
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