Provincial Press Release June 16, 2021 @ 1:04 pm published 1:15 pm
The first recipients of the Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant are launching initiatives to promote multiculturalism and end racism in Alberta.
The Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant (MIIG) Program is part of the government’s strategy to advance work on both multiculturalism and anti-racism by funding projects that celebrate diversity, reduce cultural barriers and ensure Albertans feel that their culture and heritage is valued.
“Our province includes people from diverse racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds who have contributed to our beautiful cultural tapestry. The MIIG projects will focus on what brings Albertans together so they can work against preconceived stereotypes and discrimination. This intercultural understanding will help build a more welcoming and safe province for all. Now, more than ever, the importance of these projects and partnerships cannot be understated.” Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
Twenty-four projects in communities across Alberta are receiving up to $25,000 each to foster an appreciation and celebration of our province’s Indigenous Peoples and multicultural society.
“The best way to take action against racism is by engaging communities and encouraging everyone to take a stand. The Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant Program supports community-led efforts in teaching Albertans about the impacts of racism and discrimination, addressing barriers for racialized people and creating welcoming and inclusive communities.” Mohamad Awada and China Sochi Ogbonna, co-chairs, Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council
“I am so grateful and excited to receive this Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant as a part of acknowledging the long-standing impact of our multicultural, especially immigrant and English as another language (EAL), communities. We hope that we can use this opportunity to amplify EAL voices and initiate an expansion of academic support to allow EAL students to achieve their greatest selves.” Liza Choi, associate professor, interim dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Mount Royal University
“The work of libraries revolves around education and connection. The Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant Program funding will allow our library to make a real and meaningful difference in our community by building a better understanding of Indigenous culture, strengthening intercultural relationships in our community, and working towards reconciliation.” Rachel Dick Hughes, director, Library Services, Strathmore Municipal Library
“Thanks to the support from the Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant Program, we are scaling up Power of Stories in 2021 and relaunching in person in July so that more girls are equipped with the skills and knowledge to develop and use their own stories to prevent violence, while raising intercultural awareness through the Teachings of the Grandmothers – a set of local values shared by local Cree, Métis, and Dene land-based knowledge holders. The program piloted and served 110 girls in 2020, and 73 per cent of participants indicated that they felt closer to the community and over 90 per cent indicated that they came to recognize various forms of violence, including bullying and sexual assault.” Nanase Tonda, executive director, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Some of the projects include:
The Hinton Adult Learning Society’s project to research barriers for new Canadians in Hinton and provide anti-discrimination training to local organizations.
The Girls Incorporated of Northern Alberta Society “Power of Stories” project, which creates learning opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous girls through storytelling and teaching.
The Deen Strong Foundation, which is developing an online counselling platform to improve access to mental health resources for marginalized groups.
More than $400,000 in funding is supporting 24 projects for the first intake of this grant program.
The next intake deadline for the Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant Program is Sept. 1.