Youth, Arts and Media Team

Niriqatiginnga champions economic reconciliation, empowering Indigenous communities through strategic partnerships, funding, and comprehensive support programs.
Niriqatiginnga champions economic reconciliation, empowering Indigenous communities through strategic partnerships, funding, and comprehensive support programs.

Advancing Economic reconciliation

Niriqatiginnga champions economic reconciliation, bridging disparities and empowering Indigenous communities through strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships.

Economic reconciliation is a key tenet of Niriqatiginnga’s mission, focusing on bridging economic disparities and allowing Indigenous communities to more fully participate in modern economic activities. The concept of economic reconciliation involves addressing historical and systemic inequalities faced by First Nations, Inuit and Red River Metis peoples and creating opportunities for economic empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Advancing economic reconciliation requires multidimensional approaches that acknowledges past injustices while actively working towards a future where Indigenous peoples have equal access to economic opportunities. It involves not only providing immediate support but also co-developing sustainable frameworks to ensure long-term prosperity for Indigenous peoples and communities.

“Economic reconciliation is at the heart of Niriqatiginnga’s mission,” said Jamie Bell, one of the founding artists and researchers from the project that we interviewed. “It’s through the bridging of economic disparities and fostering collaborative partnerships that we are empowering Indigenous communities to thrive and lead in modern economic activities.”

Niriqatiginnga’s commitment to economic reconciliation manifests through various strategic initiatives:

Partnerships and Collaborations

Partnerships with well-established organizations ensure youth can leverage a wide range of resources and expertise. For example, Manitoba Agriculture and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership offer supports for integrating agri-food sector economic and capacity building activities. These kinds of collaborations help bridge gaps in knowledge and resources, making it easier for Indigenous youth and aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow their own ventures.

Funding and Support

Funding from programs that support Indigenous food systems is vital for the program’s initiatives. This financial support helps cover the costs of training programs, materials, and other resources needed to equip young entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge required for success. It also enables Niriqatiginnga to expand its reach and impact, benefiting more Indigenous youth and their communities.

“Collaborative partnerships with organizations like Manitoba Agriculture and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership are crucial,” said Bell. “These programs provide the expertise and resources that help youth turn their entrepreneurial and food sector dreams into reality.”

Financial support is essential for the continuity and expansion of Niriqatiginnga’s programs. With adequate funding, the initiative can offer more comprehensive and diverse training modules, provide state-of-the-art equipment, and ensure ongoing and post-project mentorship for team members.

Advocacy and Capacity-Building Programs

Advocacy is another critical component of economic reconciliation. Niriqatiginnga advocates for policies and practices that support Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development. Capacity-building programs offered by Niriqatiginnga help team members develop essential skills such as financial management, marketing, and business planning, ensuring they are well-prepared to succeed.

“Through a blend of one-on-one mentorship, workshops, and real-world business experiences, our capacity-building initiatives provide practical, hands-on learning. Taking this kind of holistic, or desire-based approach ensures that project members can be better prepared to navigate the complexities of the food and creative sectors, fostering both personal and community-wide growth,” said Bell.

Through advocacy efforts, Niriqatiginnga influences policy changes and promotes practices that aims to create a more favourable environment for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Capacity-building programs, on the other hand, equip participants with practical skills and knowledge. These programs often include workshops, one-on-one mentorship, and real-world business experiences, ensuring that young entrepreneurs are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the food and creative sectors.

The combined efforts of partnerships, funding, resource access, and advocacy significantly enhance the effectiveness and reach of Niriqatiginnga’s initiatives. These elements work together to create a supportive ecosystem for Inuit, First Nations and Red River Metis youth, empowering them to become self-reliant and contribute positively to their communities.

Sustainable Development Goal 9

Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9) aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. Activities that support SDG 9 include investing in infrastructure development such as transportation, energy, and communication networks. These efforts not only improve connectivity and access to essential services but also create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth, particularly in developing regions. Furthermore, fostering innovation through research and development initiatives enhances technological progress and promotes sustainable industrial practices. By focusing on these areas, countries can contribute to SDG 9’s objectives of fostering inclusive and sustainable industrialization, ensuring infrastructure development, and encouraging innovation for sustainable development.

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Youth, Arts and Media Team

The Youth, Arts and Media Team supports participatory food security research, arts and organizational development. Through this program, funded by Agriculture Canada and the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Skills Strategy, Indigenous youth artists and early career communicators receive training and exposure to various forms of media and communication roles. Activities build career and job skills, supporting outreach, relationship development and engagement. There is a strong emphasis on food sector and digital literacy and training youth in the design and delivery of health and food security interventions that promote healthy messages.

Read our 2024 Summer Update

The Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) will contribute approximately $13.5 million to projects that employ youth and youth facing barriers. Each project will be eligible to receive up to $14,000 in matching funds to employ one (1) employee. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is one of several Government of Canada departments participating in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

Driven by Youth and Volunteers

As a community program, nurturing the skills, knowledge, and networks of our future leaders, this unique, pilot program contributes beyond the success of its participants. It also aims to lay foundations for sustainable and impactful business and entrepreneurship programming.

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