Ottawa to spend $1.6M on NWT Indigenous, female equality

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The federal government announced new funding to help four Yellowknife-based organizations run programs serving the territory's women.

The YWCA in the Northwest Territories will receive $603,000. Sex education and sexual identity group FOXY is awarded $372,000, the Dechinta learning centre receives $364,000, and the Yellowknife Women's Society is granted $269,000.

The money comes from last year's federal budget, which announced "$100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada."

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The four projects responded to a call for proposals from the federal Department for Women and Gender Equality in October 2018.

YWCA NWT will use its funding to create a new advocacy coordinator's position, tasked with helping to "advance gender equality across the territory."

Cherish Winsor, from the YWCA, said: "With our new project, and our organization’s increased capacity, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives."

FOXY's Candice Lys said Ottawa had recognized "the need for more stable, long-term commitments."

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The organization plans to use its funding to embark on more strategic planning, training, and improvements to board governance, and develop a plan to generate revenue – thereby decreasing reliance on government funds.

Dechinta said its share of the cash would help the centre to "reduce and eventually eliminate the barriers faced by Indigenous women in northern communities who are seeking post-secondary education."

Bree Denning at the Yellowknife Women's Society said its federal funding would "help sustain our organization over the long-term."

A federal news release acknowledged that much of the money will be used to build capacity, stating women's organizations had been "chronically underfunded, underestimated, and undermined."

The NWT's Liberal MP, Michael McLeod, made the funding announcements on Monday.

"These four organizations are doing incredible work on the advancement of women and gender equality in the Northwest Territories," said McLeod.

"With the federal investments announced today, they are better prepared to continue making progress in our territory, now and over the long-term."