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Feds announce $1.6 million for Northern women's groups


The federal government is giving $1.6 million in multi-year funding to four organizations that serve women in the NWT.

The YWCA NWT will get about $600,000, the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning will receive around $360,000, FOXY will receive about $370,000 and the Yellowknife Women's Society has been granted $268,800.

"Our government is demonstrating our advancement to the women in the Northwest territories. There are women's organizations in every territory and providence, they serve women in the centre of cities and in the remotest parts of our country," said MP Micheal McLeod at a press conference on April 15.

In 2018, the federal government budgeted $100 million for women's groups across Canada. The 2019 budget included an additional $160 million over five years.

McLeod said that the Canadian women's movement has been chronically underfunded.

"Our government has heard the call and taken action," he said.

The directors of these organizations say the funding will provide them with financial stability, which will allow for future planning.

Lyda Fuller, board chair of the YWCA NWT, said it's rare to get multi-year funding.

"Our proposal focuses on advocacy specifically around violence against women in poverty," said Fuller. "So the multi-year funding will be to develop partnerships and networks and deepen the partnerships that we already have."

Lyda Fuller, board chair of YWCA NWT. Her organization will receive $603,415 in multi-year funding. Brett McGarry/ NNSL photo

"Look out world, the women are going to be loud and proud," she said.

Candice Lys, executive director of FOXY, a sexual health program for young women, said many women's groups are forced to rely on the passion and dedication of their employees – in lieu of adequate resources – to keep programs running.

"Like many Northern non-profits we are challenged with limited resources and a small but passionate and resilient staff who dedicate their heart and soul to building a stronger North," said Lys.

"We plan to use the funding to develop a strategic plan over the next five years to diversify our revenue sources to reduce our dependence on government funding over time and strengthening our board of governance," she continued.

Kelsey Wrightson, executive director of Dechinta, said the new funding will provide financial stability for her organization.

"It's rare to get multi-year federal funding and we were really pleased about that and I'm so thankful that the government recognizes the needs of women's organizations to have capacity-building funding," said Wrightson.

Wrightson said the funds will be used to build an advocacy network that will serve the territory's marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous people and the LGBT community.

Jennifer Waugh, owner and founder of Alietum Ltd., an aerial drone company that provides a number of services, will receive a $100,000 grant to purchase manned aircraft-based remote sensing and surveying technology.

Jennifer Waugh, owner and founder of Alietum Ltd, will recieve a one-time grant of $100,00 dollars for her company to help her promote women in aviation and manned vehicles for the remote sensing company. Brett McGarry/ NNSL photo
Jennifer Waugh, owner and founder of Alietum Ltd., will receive a one-time grant of $100,00 dollars for her company to help her promote women in aviation. Brett McGarry/ NNSL photo


"I look forward to bringing some innovative approaches to address the unique challenged here in the North," she said.

According to the federal government, women in Canada earned just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men and the gender pay gap is worse when considering Indigenous women, who earned only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.