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February 23, 2012 - MP Joy Smith Announces Funding to Support Aboriginal Education in Winnipeg

Press Release

Aboriginal young people in Winnipeg will have the opportunity to learn more about their culture, thanks in part to support from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Joy Smith, Member of Parliament (Kildonan–St. Paul) on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.


This funding will help support the Seven Oaks Parents in Support of Aboriginal Education’s “Keeping Balance”project, which is designed to strengthen Aboriginal young people’s cultural identity. The project focuses on Aboriginal awareness and promotes the importance of staying in school. Through traditional arts and crafts and educational teachings, participants will gain a better sense of their heritage and become involved in their community. Over 300 Aboriginal young people aged 10–18 will benefit from this project.


“Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in organizations like Seven Oaks Parents in Support of Aboriginal Education, which provides culturally relevant community-based activities,” said Minister Moore. “By investing in this project, we are ensuring that Aboriginal young people have opportunities to attain their goals.”


“Keeping Balance offers Aboriginal young people the opportunity to come together in a safe and nurturing environment and to learn more about themselves and their ancestry,” said Ms. Smith. “I’m proud our Government is investing in our young people and providing them with the necessary tools to build their self-esteem and sense of belonging in the community.”


“We are very pleased to receive this funding and are looking forward to offering programs and support to the students in the Seven Oaks School Division,” said Karen Beaudin, parent and co‑chair of Seven Oaks Parents in Support of Aboriginal Education. “The parents’ group believes that, in order to have their children succeed at education, they must participate fully in their school and community.”


Formed in 2002, Seven Oaks Parents in Support of Aboriginal Education is a not-for-profit volunteer Aboriginal organization. The group is composed of Aboriginal parents concerned with the education of their children in the school division.


The Government of Canada has provided funding of $138,884 through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Program. This initiative provides Aboriginal young people aged 10 to 24, living in urban settings across Canada, with programming that incorporates Aboriginal values, cultures, and traditional practices in projects and activities designed to improve their social, economic, and personal prospects and to strengthen their cultural identity.



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