Northern youth leadership programs share $465,000

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Around $465,000 in federal funding is being provided to youth leadership programs in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Liberal MP Michael McLeod shared the news on Tuesday afternoon as he embarks on a series of pre-election funding announcements. Infrastructure funding for projects in 19 NWT communities had been announced earlier in the day.

On Tuesday afternoon, McLeod also said the Conseil de Développement Économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (Cdétno) is to receive $1.4 million in core federal funding over the next four-and-a-half years. Cdétno helps to develop the economy and employment opportunities for the NWT's francophone community.

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Northern Loco, a Fort Providence-based consultancy and social programming group led by former school principal Lois Philipp, will receive $295,064 to support its Reconciliation and Decolonization in Action project. One hundred youth in Fort Providence and Ottawa will video-conference and participate in community exchanges over the course of the project, which promotes civic engagement and leadership.

Northern Youth Abroad is receiving the remaining $170,240. The money will create opportunities for 25 youth from the NWT and Nunavut to participate in the Northern Youth in Service program, which trains youth and sends them to southern Canada for five weeks to volunteer.

"Programs like these inspire youth to become involved and make a positive difference in their communities," said McLeod.

McLeod, who lives in Fort Providence, said he had attended some of Northern Loco's events.

"They are quite concerned about the future of the North: they're concerned about addictions in the Northwest Territories, they're concerned about the lack of opportunity for youth in smaller communities," he said.

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In response to those concerns, Northern Loco has started up a youth centre and works with the local friendship centre and recreation department to meet the needs of young residents.

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