Province announces funding to support Blackfoot women in Lethbridge – Lethbridge

Provincial and federal government funding will be used to build 14 housing units in Lethbridge for Blackfoot women and their children who wish to relocate to town from neighboring reserves.

The Alberta Minister of Seniors and Housing and the Minister of Indigenous Relations were on hand to announce the project on Wednesday, which aims to support relocating women from the Kainai, Siksika and Piikani nations.

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A combined $ 3.4 million has been committed by the governments of Alberta and Canada, with assistance intended to represent a different chapter for women who may start new jobs, attend school or flee. difficult circumstances.

“When I first came to town I was a country boy and it was a big transition for me,” said Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations.

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“I can’t imagine someone coming with a kid and starting over. So being able to have a facility like this – being able to help them fit into the urban situation – I think that’s going to be such a great asset for them.

Wilson said the announcement comes at a crucial time as the province focuses on reconciliation efforts.

“This is very timely for me because I work closely with our panel of missing and murdered indigenous women,” he said.

“It really sets up a scene and some groundwork to do other work like this.”

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Blackfoot Family Lodge Society president Lance Tailfeathers said the project has been underway for a long time, with clear demand in southern Alberta.

“Part of the residency at Blackfoot Family Lodge is that the ladies go through various training modules on city living and also go back to cultural roots. everyone who comes to the city of Lethbridge, ”he said.

Tailfeathers said many members making the transition to city living struggle to adjust and face stigma, and the goal is to provide them with the resources to thrive for the long term.

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“As part of the program, once you get them up and ready, they’re free to go out on their own if they decide they want to go to other accommodations,” Tailfeathers said.

“But it’s kind of a springboard for them, where they can learn these skills to live in an urban environment.”

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The province anticipates that the project will create about 25 jobs.

In Alberta, funding is provided through the Indigenous Housing Capital Program (IHCP), which supports the development of affordable, off-reserve, off-settlement, and institutional housing where it is needed most. Federal funding for the CIIP is provided through the 10-year bilateral housing agreement between the federal and provincial governments announced in 2019.

The province says Alberta’s 2021 capital plan will invest $ 30 million in IHCP over three years, with the government already providing more than $ 26 million for seven projects to date, including the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society. .

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