In this letter, First Call urges Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly and Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett to meet with the Council of Mothers to discuss reinstating federal funding for the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) program and to increase funding for saving and teaching Indigenous languages across Canada.
Before it was canceled by the previous federal government, CCAY-funded initiatives were developed, designed and guided by Indigenous youth in Canada’s urban communities. For many youth the skills and cultural connections they gained through involvement in the projects were empowering, healing and life-changing. We know former youth, now adults, who benefited tremendously from these initiatives. We urge you to meet with members of the Council of Mothers who can share with you their own knowledge of the value of former CCAY programming.