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NAN, Canada partner to help women achieve economic goals

Friday May 2, 2014

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is aiming to advance the economic security and prosperity of First Nations women and girls through $200,000 in federal government funding.

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the government of Canada to help women in First Nations communities access new economic options,” Fiddler said. “We will work collaboratively with women and other stakeholders at the community level to help more women achieve this important goal.”

Fiddler said the 24-month project will be aimed at a “good cross-section” of NAN’s 49 communities.

“We want to get a cross-section of fly-in communities, remote communities, road access communities, small communities and larger communities,” Fiddler said. “We need to do everything that we can to ensure that we to help create an economic base in our communities. I think this project will help us get there.”

Fiddler noted potential opportunities for women to pursue in small business and the resource development area.

“We want to ensure our communities are in a position to benefit from those opportunities,” Fiddler said. “We want to use this as a building block to begin to create that entrepreneurial spirit in our communities, especially with women in our communities so that they can build on following the conclusion of this project.“

Kellie Leitch, minister of Labour and minister of Status of Women, announced the funding on April 24 at the NAN Health office in Thunder Bay.

“More than 100 women will benefit from this project,” Leitch said, noting the project will help women gain economic independence.

“I think it is important for all Canadian women to have economic independence, but in particular, I think when we’re in the circumstances we see here, this rapidly expanding economy where there’s well educated women, this gives them the additional skill sets to be able to start their own business or contribute to the great Ring of Fire experience.”

Selected through the federal government’s call for proposals, Opening Doors: Economic Opportunities for Women, the 24-month project is aimed at developing community-driven and culturally relevant strategies to address barriers to economic opportunities for women in the community.

Leitch said the project, one of 720 funded across the country since 2006-2007, is focused on providing news skills to women so they can either develop and flourish into an entrepreneur or enter into an existing business.

“Our government remains focused on its commitment to increase economic opportunities for women across Canada,” Leitch said.

“We are proud to be supporting the Nishnawbe Aski Nation to create new economic options for women here in northern Ontario. Through collaborative efforts, we are helping women in these communities achieve their own economic success, while also helping Canada prosper.”

The project’s goals are to build partnerships to identify and address the economic needs and unique challenges facing women in their local communities; work to identify effective, community-specific mechanisms and solutions; and test these mechanisms and solutions.


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