Backgrounder - Urban Aboriginal Programming Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Date: February 6, 2014

The Aboriginal population remains the fastest-growing segment of the Canadian population. In recent decades, the number of Aboriginal people living in Canada's urban centres has grown substantially.

Aboriginal people continue to face significant challenges such as access to quality education, a meaningful job and adequate housing among others; this announcement aims to provide support to address these issues.

The Urban Aboriginal Strategy program (UAS) was first developed in 1997, to help respond to the needs facing Aboriginal people living in key urban centres.

Improving opportunities through greater collaboration

Through sustainable partnership policy development, program coordination at the federal level and with different levels of provincial, municipal and Aboriginal governments, as well as private sector partners, the UAS was designed to address local priorities, develop innovative solutions to set priorities, involve partners and reduce the level of disparity that urban Aboriginal people face.

Between 2007 and 2013, the UAS allocated $58.45 million in funding to 908 projects in 15 cities, supporting the participation of urban Aboriginal people in the economy.

Results for urban Aboriginal peoples

An example of one of these projects was a partnership in Edmonton, Alberta between the UAS, the City and the local school district to improve graduation rates among Aboriginal students. Through the participation of nine Edmonton schools, this project supported close to 300 Aboriginal students by facilitating their transition into the workforce or on to further education.

Another example is in Winnipeg, Manitoba where the UAS and Western Economic Diversification engaged in a partnership with the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development to provide support for the training of local Aboriginal people for work in

Canada's aerospace industry. This project, the Aboriginal Aerospace Initiative, has trained upwards of 200 Aboriginal students as of 2013.

At the same time, the National Association of Friendship Centres delivers 2.3 million points of service contacts annually through 1490 programs.

A listing of projects funded under previous urban Aboriginal programming can be found on the AANDC website.

An Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy

On February 6, 2014, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development announced the renewal of this funding as part of an improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy that will continue to focus on encouraging partnerships and collaboration to help increase the participation of urban Aboriginal people in the economy.

Existing AANDC programming is being streamlined into two new programs: Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Support. To learn more about this change and the new programs, please consult this Fact Sheet and visit the AANDC website.