Frequently Asked Questions - The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy
Q.1) What is the improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy?
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) is a federal government initiative aimed at increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal people in the economy. It is built upon a unique partnership approach in which all levels of government, urban Aboriginal communities and the private and non-profit sectors come together to identify the needs of urban Aboriginal people and develop coordinated approaches to address local priorities.
Q.2) How is this approach different from what was done before?
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) has encouraged collaboration and partnership amongst the various private and public stakeholders involved in supporting urban Aboriginal people and communities. The improved UAS retains this focus but is now streamlined into two specific programs, reducing the cost of administering and delivering four separate programs.
As a result, more money is available for Aboriginal organizations dedicated to increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal peoples in Canada's economy.
Q.3) Are these two new Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) programs replacing the Department’s previous slate of urban Aboriginal programming (including the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth, Urban Aboriginal Strategy program, Young Canada Works for Aboriginal Urban Youth and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program)?
Yes, all of the previous AANDC programs supporting urban Aboriginal peoples have been consolidated into two programs – Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Support – to better serve urban Aboriginal peoples.
Q.4) Was any consultation or engagement done in the development of this improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy?
Yes, the improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy was developed following a series of engagement sessions with urban Aboriginal communities and other relevant stakeholders, including, among others, provincial and municipal governments, academics, interested Canadians, and Aboriginal organizations.
Q.5) What role does the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) play in the delivery of this new programming?
The NAFC delivers the Community Capacity Support program, which provides operational funding to support programs and services that encourage increased economic participation, provides support for summer students, and facilitates employment and skills development.
The NAFC also delivers a portion of Urban Partnerships funding to projects that encourage partnerships between organizations and governments, to encourage Aboriginal participation in the workforce.
The federal government is working with the NAFC to ensure transparency and fairness in NAFC's selection and funding of urban Aboriginal organizations, while providing value for money.
Q.6) How do organizations apply for funding under the improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy?
Program objectives focus on the greater economic participation of urban Aboriginal peoples, particularly youth.
Community Capacity Support: The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) delivers the Community Capacity Support funding according to detailed program objectives set out by by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Any urban Aboriginal organizations that can support the program's objectives are welcome to apply to the NAFC. Applications are assessed against the program objectives. The NAFC then determines which organizations are best suited and provides funding accordingly.
Urban Partnerships: The NAFC also delivers project funding for initiatives that benefit urban Aboriginal people by responding to priorities identified in the new regional strategic work plans, while contributing to increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal peoples in the economy. Any urban Aboriginal organization that can support these priorities is welcome to apply to the NAFC.
Q.7) What is Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) role in delivering the Urban Partnerships program and funding?
AANDC is responsible for delivering a portion of Urban Partnerships funding dedicated to establishing new regional strategic work plans in partnership with the provinces and territories. Once developed, these new regional strategic work plans will help guide project funding decisions that will be made by the National Association of Friendship Centres starting in 2015-16. The regional strategic work plans will align efforts with provincial and territorial government economic priorities and determine how best to work with communities to ensure Aboriginal people are supported in their efforts to be trained and acquire the necessary skills for employment.
AANDC will also invest in research to help identify and overcome barriers and challenges to Aboriginal employment, as well as support initiatives to help build and sustain capacity and stabilize partnership engagement over the longer term. These investments will help support the improved approach to program design and delivery being implemented at the regional level.
Q.8) How does this improved approach to urban Aboriginal programming work in collaboration with other Government of Canada's initiatives?
The improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy minimizes administrative costs while maximizing efficiencies in program delivery.
This renewed approach to urban programming will also work alongside other Government of Canada initiatives, including the reform of the First Nation Income Assistance: Skills and Job Training program and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy to support Aboriginal peoples as they contribute to the labour force and improve the strength of Canada's economy.
Q.9) How will this improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) encourage and enable collaboration and partnership among other public and private stakeholders, such as provincial and municipal governments and national Aboriginal organizations?
Many of the issues facing urban Aboriginal Canadians are complex and difficult to address in isolation. Funding will be used to support communities in the planning process by bringing partners together to discuss economic priorities. The program will continue to provide leadership between all levels of Government and urban Aboriginal communities to ensure investments and programming are aligned and effective, and that results are maximized.
For example, should an urban Aboriginal community identify a need among its residents and a local organization proposes a project that meets this need, the improved UAS would encourage collaborative work between stakeholders, such as the municipality, other federal departments, the province or even a private company, to make the project a reality.
Q.10) When does this improved programming take effect? What are the next steps?
The improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy, including the two new programs – Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Support – took effect in April 2014.
Q.11) How can I get a copy of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy Terms and Conditions to receive funding that was developed by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada?
Here are the program terms and conditions.
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