Province funds grants for indigenous women's safety

The province has allocated grants totalling more than $700,000 to programs that support the safety and well-being of indigenous women in the province and Grande Prairie.

The Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) is receiving $150,000 to be distributed among four of its members: The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, Nistawoyou Friendship Centre in Fort McMurray, the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre and the Sagitawa Friendship Centre in Peace River.

“Funding will help expand culturally safe and indigenous-led programming for vulnerable indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBT+ peoples and supports for families of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls,” said Jeanette MacInnis, ANFCA acting executive director.

She said the demand for support has increased significantly post-pandemic.

“Our friendship centres are needed more than ever in providing these programs.”

The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women received $300,000 in funding to help increase its support for indigenous women.

Some of the funding will also go to developing “culturally appropriate protocols and policies within police services” said the province in a media release. Awo Taan received $75,000 to improve the Calgary Police Services processes.

Four Winds and Associates Inc. received $60,000 to expand the Aboriginal Alert system's reach, which is raising awareness of missing indigenous people.

In Edmonton, the YWCA will receive $55,000 to host weekly healing circles for survivors of gender-based violence.

Additionally, $50,000 will go to the Creating Hope Society to work with high-risk vulnerable community members to access medical treatment, trauma therapy and basic amenities.

“These grants to community organizations will prevent violence by strengthening supports and creating opportunities for healing,” said Rick Willson, indigenous relations minister.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News