THUNDER BAY, ON ----- February 23, 2013 --- Leadership Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy, are proud to pilot an innovative initiative - Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program. Made possible with a $43,000 investment from the Ontairo Trillium Foundation (OTF), the new initiative will focus on youth, aged 16 to 29, in Thunder Bay and feature a curriculum based on Aboriginal traditions and values. OTF representative Jason Hughes was on hand to officially congratulate the group, along with community leaders.
This innovative and empowering program will take the community’s emerging leaders on a voyage of discovery in which they learn both how to build their leadership skills but also gain a broader understanding of the critical issues affecting the community.
"I am very pleased that Leadership Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy have partnered to launch this new and innovative program. The Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program will offer aboriginal youth an opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and gain a broader understanding of the critical issues affecting our community. This program will certainly offer unparalleled opportunities which will equip many aboriginal youth for bright futures in anything that they choose to pursue." – Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
“Congratulations to the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy and Leadership Thunder Bay on this initiative which will help build youth leadership skills within our community. I am pleased that our government was able to provide $43,000 through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to assist with this worthwhile project.” - Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan
“The Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program is a really significant community development that Leadership Thunder Bay is proud to support. It emerged from a simple idea brought forward by the Urban Aboriginal Strategy – aboriginal youth needs and wants to build capacity for leadership in every role they will choose to pursue. The Urban Aboriginal Strategy – Leadership Thunder Bay collaboration gives strong expression to defining how aboriginal youth accomplish that.” - Stewart Kallio, Past President, Leadership Thunder Bay
“I am so excited that this joint venture with Leadership Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy is finally becoming a reality. It is a project we talked about for almost a year. We know Aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay face many challenges, but rather than focusing on the negatives, we must start to focus on developing assets by investing in our youth. When you give youth your respect, attention, support and time, you help them to develop new positive opportunities. The pilot program can help Aboriginal youth contribute to their community in a positive productive way, while increasing their self-esteem and confidence.” - Frances Wesley, Planner, Urban Aboriginal Strategy
Leadership Thunder Bay is much more than a typical leadership skills development program. Innovative, engaging and empowering, the program takes participants from all walks of life on a voyage of discovery in which they build their leadership skills while gaining a broader understanding of the critical issues affecting our community. For more information about Leadership Thunder Bay, visit www.leadershiptb.com.
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) was first developed in 1997 by the Federal Government of Canada to help respond to the needs facing Aboriginal people living in key urban centres. Through the UAS, the Government of Canada partners with other governments, community organizations and Aboriginal people to support projects that respond to local priorities. For more information about the Thunder Bay UAS, visit uasthunderbay.ca
A leading grant maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.otf.ca