INDIAN AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA
************************* Canada's new government delivers help to First Nations shelters OTTAWA, October 24 - The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, the Honourable Jim Prentice today announced a one-time investment of $6 million for 2006-07 to address the immediate needs of existing shelters and help First Nations communities improve family violence prevention programs and services. "To help address the often difficult situations faced by First Nation women, I am announcing that an additional $6 million will be available this year to help ensure that the network of 35 INAC funded family violence shelters are better equipped to provide much-needed services to women and children on reserve," said Minister Prentice.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's (INAC) family prevention program has an annual budget of about $18.5 million.
This includes funding for a network of 35 shelters across Canada of approximately $11.5 million per year and about $7 million per year for community-driven family violence prevention projects in First Nations communities.
The new funding will be used to help address the need for adequate shelter program operations.
"We need to invest in our future - a future that will see First Nations women and their families enjoy a safe and secure home environment," said Minister Prentice.
He added: "These investments will be used to support resources such as staff training, direct client costs such as food and bedding, facility costs such as insurance and cleaning supplies and administrative costs such as office supplies."
In the coming months, INAC will continue to work with partners like the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence, Native Women's Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, provinces and territories to provide a coordinated approach to the prevention of family violence.
The department will continue to work with the Federal Family Violence Initiative, including the Aboriginal Working Group on Family Violence co-chaired by the Status of Women Canada and the Federal Family Violence Initiative Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group, to ensure a coordinated approach to programs and initiatives across all levels of government.
"I share with National Aboriginal leaders, the vision of empowering First Nations communities so that they may develop community-based approaches that will help lead to concrete changes to address the root causes of family violence," Minister Prentice said.
"Addressing these issues will lead to safe and healthy individuals and sustainable First Nations communities."