The Government of Canada Supports Anti-Racism Projects in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta

WINNIPEG - Strengthening diversity and inclusion is fundamental to building a consciously more inclusive society, where everyone is able to participate fully. Racism and all forms of discrimination are some of the main causes of social and economic barriers for many Canadians. While progress has been made, much more remains to be done.

Today, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and the Honourable Jim Carr, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to the Prairies, highlighted 13 anti-racism projects in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta that were recently announced as part of the Anti-Racism Action Program. These projects include:

Uniting communities through Restorative Youth Justice, led by Bilal Community and Family Centre Inc. in Winnipeg, will offer a series of recidivism prevention capacity-building programs, cultural workshops, mediation, mentorship, leadership, teaching circles and counselling sessions, and addiction referrals to aid in the healing and reparation of harm.

Designing Policies to Enable a Representative Workforce in a Complex Healthcare System, developed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, aims to develop a unity framework and strategy to address systemic racism against First Nations and Métis people within the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Youth Peace Camp Initiative, delivered by the Red Deer Urban Aboriginal Voices Society, is a multilayered project that will grow into a mobile response structure to provide cultural awareness workshops and community conversations in a small city that is working to address issues of racism and discrimination, where these issues have been underscored by the current economic situation in Alberta. The mobile response events will take place throughout the community; centered in a moveable 18-foot tipi that will be erected temporarily in locations throughout the community.

The $15-million Anti-Racism Action Program funded 85 local, regional, and national initiatives, as well as outcomes-based activities that address racism and discrimination in all forms. This support is an important way that the Government of Canada is implementing its Anti-Racism Strategy to continue the work of combatting systemic racism and building an even stronger and consciously more inclusive society.

“Our commitment to combating all forms of racism and discrimination is unwavering. These projects will help address the systemic barriers preventing Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities from participating fully and equitably in all aspects of Canadian society. We will continue our work as allies and partners with all equity-seeking communities to combat racism as we build an even better and consciously more inclusive society.”
— The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

“Through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, we are funding projects to combat racism in all its forms. We will continue our work as allies and partners with racialized communities, religious minorities, and Indigenous peoples to combat racism as we build back better and more inclusive.”
—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)

“The investment in these 13 projects on the Prairies is an important step in empowering communities to combat all forms of discrimination and racism. This will go a long way as we work to break down barriers and create a society that is inclusive for all. Much more work remains to be done but if we work together, we can make great progress.”
—The Honourable Jim Carr, Prime Minister’s Special Representative to the Prairies and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

“Our Restorative Justice System Project will work closely with the Manitoba Justice System to provide a diversion program that empowers marginalized youth through rehabilitation, counselling and coaching, mentoring, and civic engagement. Our goal is to help eliminate barriers to success and reduce potential crimes. Canada’s Anti-Racism Action Program funding will play a pivotal role in addressing systemic racism and supporting marginalized communities to create a more inclusive society. Our project will inspire and motivate youth to be more hopeful and to have an optimistic view of the future, because when you have hope for the future you have power and energy in the present.”
— Muhiadin Omar, Executive Director, Bilal Community and Family Centre Inc.

“Reconciliation in Canada is challenging and multifaceted. This funding enables us to continue implementing our organizational commitments to the TRC Calls to Action. This important work cannot proceed in a meaningful and impactful way without the proper funding. Our goal is to continue strengthening our relationships with First Nations and Métis partners throughout Saskatchewan in order to move towards a more inclusive, equitable, and culturally responsive healthcare system.”
— Thona Longneck, Executive Director, First Nations and Métis Relations, Saskatchewan Health Authority

“The Elders tell us that our culture is the key to positive self-esteem and prevents us from the negative impacts of discrimination and racism. This funding will help Indigenous youth strengthen their cultural identity and build their leadership skills through the creation of a mobile youth peace camp program. Youth will be trained to confront bullying, discrimination, and racism peacefully through circles of reconciliation and anti-discrimination education. The opportunity to develop a youth-led model for peacemaking will be our ‘give away’ to other communities, strengthening diversity and inclusion and empowering Indigenous youth. We are very proud to be part of this national strategy to build a more inclusive Canada.”
—Tanya Ward-Schur, Community Facilitator, Red Deer Urban Aboriginal Voices Society