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Congress of Aboriginal Peoples’ Grassroots Engagement Tour
During the fiscal year 2013-14, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP, Congress) embarked on a cross-country Grassroots Engagement tour to meet with off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples in order to hear first-hand about the issues affecting the Congress’ constituency. National Chief Betty Ann Lavallée met with grassroots Aboriginal Peoples in each province and territory (with the exception of Nunavut) to introduce the Congress and to learn about what issues might be important for CAP to address at the national level when developing policies, projects and programs.
Funding for this initiative came through the Bilateral funding stream through the Métis and Non-Status Indians Relations (MNSIR) branch of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The project saw the Congress hold sessions in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Vancouver, British Columbia; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Whitehorse, Yukon; Edmonton, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; St. Louis du Ha! Ha!, Quebec; and Sudbury, Ontario.
At each session the National Chief presented an overview of the work that the Congress does on behalf of the rights and interests of status and non-status Indians, Métis Peoples and the Southern Inuit of Labrador living in urban, rural and remote areas throughout Canada. The floor was then opened up for discussion. Attendees were encouraged to voice their opinions, concerns and issues. The National Chief asked people to be frank and honest with her so that she could get a true understanding of their concerns.
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples greatly benefited from meeting with its grassroots constituents throughout the country. The people expressed a great satisfaction at being heard and with the sessions. In every province and territory, more engagements like these were called and requested for the other areas within the provinces and territories.
The Congress will be embarking on its second year of its Grassroots Engagement tour in January 2015.
20 January – Port-Hope Simpson
24 January – Bridgewater
26 January – Moncton
28 January – PEI
10 February – Saskatoon
12 February – Yellowknife
14 February – Whitehorse
23 February – Toronto
20 March - Charlottetown
To read the final Grassroots Engagement Report, detailing the input gathered at the 2013-14 sessions, please click here.
Did you Know?
- Today, over 75% of Aboriginal Peoples live off-reserve. (Statistics Canada, 2011)
- Our youth are the youngest and fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. Our share of the labour force will triple in the next 20 years.
- Yet over 80% of the funding goes to assist on-reserve Status Indians.
Since 1971, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples – formerly known as the Native Council of Canada – has been the National Representative Organization and the National Voice for the constituency and their affiliate organizations making up the Congress’ family of advocates for the off-reserve, Non-Status and Status Indians, Southern Inuit of Labrador and Métis Peoples living in urban, rural, remote and isolated areas throughout Canada.
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