ARCHIVED - Urban Aboriginal Strategy

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Name of Horizontal Initiative: Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS)

Name of Lead Department(s): Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians (OFI)

Lead Department Program Activity: Urban Aboriginal Strategy

Start Date: April 1, 2007

End Date: March 31, 2012

Total Federal Funding Allocation (from start date to end date): $68.5 million

Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement): The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) was developed in 1997 to help respond to the needs of Aboriginal people living in key urban centres. Through the UAS, the Government of Canada seeks to partner with other governments, community organizations, Aboriginal people and the private sector to support projects that address local priorities.

In 2007, Canada decided to set national priorities that focus on greater economic participation and made a long-term commitment by investing $68.5 million over five years to help respond effectively to the needs of Aboriginal people living in key urban centres.

Shared Outcome(s): The primary goal of the UAS is to better address issues facing Aboriginal people living in cities across Canada, working toward the achievement of the following outcomes:

To accomplish these outcomes, UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills; promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship; and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.

Governance Structure(s): Steering committees are the catalysts for planning, making funding decisions, and co-ordinating work through the UAS — along with other community activities — to respond to urban Aboriginal issues. Each UAS steering committee is composed of a cross-section of the Aboriginal community, to ensure the steering committee's decisions reflect broad community concerns and priorities. While the steering committee structure is meant to be reflective of local circumstances, each steering committee includes representation from the local Aboriginal community, the federal government, other levels of government and the private sector. The inclusive nature of the steering committees is indicative of the principle of partnership that underlies the UAS, particularly in keeping with the objective to establish strong and active partnerships between government and community.

In some of the designated cities under the UAS, federal funding is administered through an incorporated community organization that has been delegated authority for delivering UAS projects on behalf of the various partners. Regardless of whether funding is delivered by a community organization, by federal officials or by a combination of the two, funding through the UAS is designed to promote co-operation with other key partners (including other federal departments) and stakeholders in support of community interests.

Performance Highlights: AANDC's partnership work has resulted in strengthened community capacity, legitimacy and decision making, as well as funding of over 153 community-based projects (31 included other federal partners) to improve life skills; promote job training, skills and entrepreneurship; and support Aboriginal women, children and families. Examples of this include work on the AANDC Active Measures Initiative; joint funding with Public Safety on the National Crime Prevention Centre; with Public Health Agency on the HIV/AIDS program; with Human Resource and Skills Development on five different programs; and with Canadian Heritage, through Cultural Connections Canada and Aboriginal Women's Program Elements.

Federal Partners Federal Partner Program Activity Names of Programs for Federal Partners Total Allocation (from start date to end date)
($ millions)
2011–12 ($ millions)
Office of the Federal Interlocutor Urban Aboriginal Strategy Urban Aboriginal Strategy 68.5 Planned Spending: 13.7 [Note 1]

Actual Spending:
2.1*

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.

Results Achieved:
To address the issues facing Aboriginal people living in cities, the AANDC partnered with four other federal partners on 31 separate projects in the areas of life skills; job training, skills and entrepreneurship; and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families to increase urban Aboriginal people's economic participation and empower them to make important life choices.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.659

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy completed four joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

60 Aboriginal youth received on-the-job training, work experience and certifications in the construction industry to increase their participation in the economy.

64 urban Aboriginal youth received support to stay in school and job skills training related to sports (coach certification, first aid, etc.).

90 urban Aboriginal youth in Prince George were trained and/or employed in trades while 10 urban Aboriginal youth were supported to stay in school or upgrade their educational qualifications.

32 urban Aboriginal people were employed and 46 received employment training.
Homelessness Partnering Initiative     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.297

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Homelessness Partnering Initiative completed four joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

20 at-risk urban Aboriginal people in Prince George were provided with life skills training related to health while 300 more urban Aboriginal drop-in clients were served through an emergency assistance program (e.g., receiving food and clothing).

100 urban Aboriginal women and children in Regina were assisted to attain better housing and increase their participation in the economy through various supports (job search, life skills, résumé writing, etc.).

649 urban Aboriginal people in Prince George received crucial emergency supports (food, clothing, etc.).

5 urban Aboriginal women in Winnipeg received life skills, employment skills and job placements to increase their participation in the economy.
New Horizons for Seniors     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.025

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and New Horizons for Seniors Initiative completed one joint initiative that resulted in the following benefits:

480 urban Aboriginal youth in Prince George were connected with elders to improve their life skills, self-esteem and success at school.
Skills & Partnership Fund     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.251

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Skills & Partnership Fund completed one joint initiative that resulted in the following benefits:

40 urban Aboriginal youth in Ottawa received life skills and cultural programming to prepare them for employment and education opportunities, while 12 received employment skills training to support their participation in the economy.
  Youth Employment Strategy Canada Summer Jobs   Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.209

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Youth Employment Strategy completed seven joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

20 urban Aboriginal youth in Vancouver were provided with cultural programming to improve their life skills and self-esteem to prepare them for employment and education opportunities.*

There were 3000 visits by urban Aboriginal youth in Vancouver to the United Native Youth Association's Music and Arts Program, which provided youth with a chance to improve their life skills and employment skills in an effort to enter the music industry.*

700 people in Saskatoon received free legal advice and referrals, while up to 70 Aboriginal law students received on the job training to further their legal career.

10 urban Aboriginal youth in Saskatoon were supported to stay in and succeed at school by various services/supports.

24 urban Aboriginal youth in Thompson received life skills training, educational supports and employment training to increase their participation in the economy.

As a result of UAS efforts and coordination of federal funds,1000 urban Aboriginal people were provided with supports and referrals to assist them in their transition to urban life in Winnipeg.

340 urban Aboriginal people improved their capacity to address abuse, violence and injury prevention in their community and personal lives.*
Canadian Heritage Cultural connections for Aboriginal Youth     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.674

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth program completed 10 joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

75 urban Aboriginal people gained awareness about HIV/AIDS through culturally- appropriate workshops, presentations and traditional teachings.

70 Aboriginal students at four junior high schools, in the city of Edmonton were supported to stay in school  by accessing homework help and tutoring, cultural awareness and personal development workshops.

90 Aboriginal youth in Edmonton attended workshops and cultural events to improve their cultural awareness, self-esteem and life skills so they could succeed at school and in the labour market.

170 Aboriginal youth were supported to stay in school and connect to the labour market by attending career development activities and having access to job assistance activities, tutoring and academic support.

14 urban Aboriginal youth were supported to stay in school through a mentoring program that included life skills training, academic support and cultural support, while 10 Aboriginal university students gained practical work experience and received course credit toward their degrees. 

The community steering committee in Lethbridge was supported to ensure an effective community network in Lethbirdge was maintained to address urban Aboriginal issues.

A community coordinator was hired to ensure an effective community network existed in Montreal to address urban Aboriginal issues.

100 urban Aboriginal youth in Saskatoon were provided with cultural programming to improve their life skills and self-esteem to prepare them for employment and education opportunities.

20 urban Aboriginal youth in Vancouver were provided with cultural programming to improve their life skills and self-esteem to prepare them for employment and education opportunities.

There were 3000 visits by urban Aboriginal youth in Vancouver to the United Native Youth Association's Music and Arts Program, which provided youth with a chance to improve their life skills and employment skills in an effort to enter the music industry.
Aboriginal Women's Program Elements     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.08

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Aboriginal Women's Program Elements completed three joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

90 Aboriginal women gained financial management life skills through multiple workshops.

340 urban Aboriginal people improved their capacity to address abuse violence and injury prevention in their community and personal lives.

125 urban Aboriginal women were supported to gain control over their finances and living situations through the Building Assets, Skills and Empowerment Program.
Public health Agency Canada HIV/AIDS     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.227

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the HIV/AIDS program completed two joint initiatives that resulted in the following benefits:

200 Aboriginal people in Prince Albert gained awareness about HIV/AIDS, healthy eating and general health through culturally- appropriate workshops, presentations and community gatherings. A strategic plan, literature review and communications plans for a community-wide health strategy were also developed.

20 at-risk urban Aboriginal people in Prince George were provided with life skills training related to health, while 300 more urban Aboriginal drop-in clients were served through an emergency assistance program (e.g., receiving food and clothing).
Community Action Program for Children     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.028

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the Community Action Program for Children completed one joint initiative that resulted in the following benefits:
Several Aboriginal organizations in Toronto, Ottawa and Thunder Bay increased their capacity to engage and instill parenting skills in Aboriginal fathers. As a result, 45 Aboriginal men received parenting skills training.
Public Safety Canada National Crime Prevention Center     Planned Spending: Unknown

Actual Spending:
0.785

Expected Results:
 UAS projects will focus investments in three priority areas: improving life skills, promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. 

Results Achieved:
The UAS and the National Crime Prevention Centre completed four joint initiative that resulted in the following benefits:

80 at-risk urban Aboriginal youth in Saskatoon received life skills and cultural programming to reduce their risk of contact with the justice system.

15 urban Aboriginal men and their families in Regina received life skills and supports to overcome domestic violence issues.

20 at-risk urban Aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay received life skills and cultural programming to reduce their risk of contact with the justice system.

649 urban Aboriginal people in Prince George received crucial emergency supports (food, clothing, etc.).*
Total 68.5 Total Planned Spending: Unknown

Total Actual Spending:
5.335

Comments on Variances: The UAS is an opportunity-driven strategy—rather than planned funding  projects—designed to maximize federal, provincial, municipal and private investment in its three priority areas: life skills; job training, skills and entrepreneurship; and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families. The main aim of the UAS is to increase horizontality among federal departments, align programming with provincial and municipal governments, and bring in other funding partners to maximize investment and increase the impact of that investment in urban Aboriginal communities.

* In 2011–2012, the UAS was allocated $13.5M for its entire 2011–2012 budget. However, not all UAS planned spending went to horizontal federal initiatives because of the opportunistic nature of the UAS. The UAS spent $1.26M in contributions and $0.84M on O&M for the 31 horizontal projects that it undertook with other federal departments, which contributed an additional $3.2M to the projects. The remaining amount of UAS funding was used for other projects that had provincial, municipal, Aboriginal, private and philanthropic funding partners. Total UAS investments ($10.2M in contributions and $4.1M in operating funds) in 2011–2012 amounted to $14.3M.

Results Achieved by Non-Federal Partners (if applicable): The UAS has proven effective in leveraging both monetary and in-kind contributions from a variety of funding partners. For the 31 UAS projects that had other federal funding partners in 2011–2012, the UAS also obtained additional contributions from provincial and municipal government partners, the private sector and Aboriginal organizations amounting to $3.7M.

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Tromp
Assistant Deputy Minister
Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
66 Slater Street Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0H4
Telephone: 613-992-2334
elizabeth.tromp@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca






Footnote:

  1. ERRATUM: The actual planned spending for the Urban Aboriginal Strategy was $13.5M, as per section II of the 2011–2012 Report on Plans and Priorities. (return to source paragraph)
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