In 2019, the federal government provided $15.2 million to create a pilot program to support Indigenous youth initiatives. That program is in its final year, though the federal government states it is considering a longer term approach.
The Call to Action:
We call upon the federal government to establish multi-year funding for community-based youth organizations to deliver programs on reconciliation, and establish a national network to share information and best practices.
In 2019, the federal government committed $15.2 million, over three years, for a pilot program to support Indigenous youth reconciliation initiatives, delivered by an existing non-profit organization called Canadian Roots Exchange.
That pilot program is now in its final year. As a result, according to the federal government website, based on “targeted engagements with Indigenous youth,” the government will consider more permanent funding and a longer-term approach to Call to Action 66 that amplifies the perspectives of Indigenous youth in decision-making and advances youth priorities.”
In August 2017, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett appointed three independent youth advisors to gain insight into the needs of Indigenous youth.
At the same time, the Ministry launched the Indigenous Youth Survey (IYS), to gather those insights.
The three youth advisors (Maatali Okalik, Gabrielle Fayant and Andre Bear) were mandated to oversee the IYS. They invited youth from across the country to fill out the online survey, where they could express what they lack, want or need in their community.
The youth advisors were then tasked with using those survey results to create a report and present it to the federal government, outlining their recommendations about what community-based youth organizations should be created, as per Call to Action #66.
Over the course of three months, they received 500 responses to the survey.
The report, Roadmap to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #66, was released in June 2018. It called for the establishment of a permanent, Indigenous youth-led and youth-focused national nonprofit organization, focused on the mandate of Call to Action #66.