Foundation Research and Convening

Poor Educational Outcomes for Aboriginal Students Threaten Canada’s Prosperity
This issue of the Maytree Foundation’s Policy in Focus series describes Caledon Institute ideas to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations high school students living on reserve. They propose the creation of: 1) an Act which would enable First Nations to create their own organizations similar to School Boards; 2) Centres to help develop culturally sensitive curriculum; and 3) an Institute to collect and analyze data to measure progress.

Aboriginal Youth in Hamilton Initiative
Aboriginal youth represent the fastest growing segment of Canada’s youth population, yet they face great challenges, including the highest levels of poverty, unemployment, and suicide, as well as experiencing low education levels. A donor at the Hamilton Community Foundation expressed an interest in contributing to the future wellbeing of Aboriginal Youth in the Hamilton area, upon which the Hamilton Community Foundation initiated an assessment and analysis of opportunities and options for supporting Aboriginal youth in the community. As a result, a “Stay-in-School” initiative for Aboriginal Youth in Hamilton was launched with a Steering Committee of local Executive Directors of Aboriginal-serving organizations. The program, funded by the Foundation, is called NYA:WEH, which means “thank you” in Mohawk and is an acronym for “Native Youth Advancement with Education Hamilton”.

Eagle’s Eye View
Developed by the Aboriginal Task Group at United Way of Winnipeg, the Eagle’s Eye View environmental scan provides a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, integrated, and holistic snapshot of the Aboriginal community in Winnipeg. It focuses on the successes and capacities of the Aboriginal community, not just the challenges – a distinction that makes it unique amongst other documents and an invaluable resource to all members of the community.

Freedom to Choose: Natural resource revenues and the future of northern communities
Reports on a policy forum convened by Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation in partnership with the community of Fort Good Hope (Ràdílíh Kòe), NWT in June of 2007. Designed to enhance understanding of how oil, gas and mining can contribute to community well-being over the long term in the North, it is one example of how foundations can use their unique role not simply to make grants but also to convene: In this case, 43 participants – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – drawn from across the North, from other parts of Canada, and from abroad were brought together. They were invited from all sectors – public, private, and non-profit – reflecting a broad range of values and interests.

Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) is a national convener for conservation in Canada’s Boreal Forest. It works with conservation organizations, First Nations, industry and other interested parties to link science, policy and conservation solutions across Canada’s Boreal Forest.