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SIOUX LOOKOUT, Ontario, April 3, 2007 – On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced funding of $48,898 for the Wawatay Native Communications Society and $24,999 for the Equay-Wuk Women’s Group.
“Canada’s New Government is pleased to participate in projects that allow First Nations people to promote their cultural traditions,” said Minister Oda. “These initiatives will help increase knowledge of Aboriginal cultures and assist women in becoming leaders in their community.”"The Wawatay First Nations Cultural Multimedia Production Project will enable members of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, especially young people, to learn more about their peers in other communities throughout Northern Ontario,” said Minister Clement. “Both projects announced today will benefit not only First Nations communities, but also the economy of Northern Ontario.”
“Wawatay has been blending First Nations traditions with modern communications technology for more than 30 years,” said Bryan Phelan, Publisher of Wawatay News. “This project brings our cultural content fully into the digital age, and makes it more accessible to a younger, wider audience.”
The funds for the Wawatay Native Communications Society will be used for equipment and training for First Nations staff to create digital cultural content for Northern Ontario First Nations’ website portals and for the regional Wawatay website hub.
The Equay-Wuk Women’s Group will use its funds to help Aboriginal women increase their participation in First Nations governance structures in three communities in Northwestern Ontario including Mishkeegogamang, Neskantanga, and Wunnumin First Nations.
The Wataway Native Communications Society provides content for print media, radio, and television and also produces Wataway News Online. It broadcasts in Cree and Oji-Cree to 45 Aboriginal communities and is heard throughout Canada via satellite. It also provides weekly national programming through the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
The Equay-Wuk Women’s Group has extensive experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating community projects, and its particular strength involves Aboriginal women in the management of their communities, especially in the field of Aboriginal self-government.
Canada’s New Government is providing this financial assistance through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canadian Culture Online strategy and the Aboriginal Women’s Community Initiative.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
Office of the Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
A/Chief, Media Relations
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