The province has given $50,000 to a local program for women. It is run through the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. Honouring Our Woman Coordinator Andrea Deleeuw explains that it combines sacred teachings with leadership training.
“At the end of April, we put out a large call out for ladies. The response was amazing. The criteria for it was that they are over the age of 16, currently not in school and currently not employed.”
The program is called “Leading the Way” and it incorporates goals that women have to get back to school or back into the work force. Deleeuw explains that this includes first aid or oilfield safety tickets.
“There is community helpers type training. If they know someone within their own circles that may be going through difficult things. They receive training to be able to support them in what they are going through. It really ripples through the community.”
Childcare is offered for free for those who are in the program. The hours that it runs also coincides with school hours to accommodate mothers with children in school. Deleeuw explains that she feels that the women that go through the program are resilient.
“As I have gotten to know them, I feel blessed that they have shared a piece of their story and what they are going through. Sometimes people don’t give people credit that are going through hard things that are still working towards goals that they have set for themselves. Hats off to these ladies. I feel glad to know them. I feel glad that they are part of the community.”
She says it is important to have this programming because there is gaps.
The money was announced on National Aboriginal Day by MLA Debbie Jabbour. This program is one of 34 projects being funded under the Alberta Status of Women’s grants.