Culturally relevant and culturally safe wellness programming is a critical component of supporting the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples—no matter where they live.
Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. has been providing a variety of programs and services for Indigenous Peoples in downtown Winnipeg since 2001. These programs include a day care; cultural and social leadership development activities for Indigenous girls and Two-Spirit youth; prevention mentorship for boys aged 12 and younger who are at risk of conflicting with the law; and a healing program that focuses on the effects of trauma, cultural identity, empowerment, strengths and more for Indigenous women. Like many urban settings across the country, populations continue to grow, and the demand for services has quickly surpassed capacity.
Today, Patty Hajdu, the Federal Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. will receive $1.8 million to support the construction of the Ka Ni Kanichihk Cultural and Wellness Centre. This investment is made available through the Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples funding stream. This expansion project will double the number of people who can access wellness, education and training programs each year and will create unique spaces and new opportunities for people to heal, learn and train for jobs, all centred in culture.
Along with the investment from the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg and private-sector donors have also made contributions to this critical expansion. Construction on the project is ready to begin and is scheduled to be completed by June 2023.
This financial support from the Government of Canada for the Ka Ni Kanichihk Cultural and Wellness Centre project is part of a larger commitment to address the critical need for culturally safe spaces in cities and urban settings across the country. This responds to the call for action to prevent the loss of culture, tradition and language highlighted in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan—Urban Path to Reclaiming Power and Place, Regardless of Residency.
“Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Building a Home for Reconciliation initiative is a unique opportunity to move forward on reconciliation as this expansion will ensure thousands of Indigenous Peoples in Winnipeg are included economically, socially and culturally as the City’s Indigenous population continues to grow. Indigenous-led solutions are of the utmost importance in Canada; Indigenous Peoples know what we need to do to heal, and we know how to do it. This innovative approach presents a holistic, Indigenous designed and led solution and will include a much-needed central resource hub, a rare inner-city green space, a cultural centre, healing spaces, a daycare, and mental and physical wellness supports. This will be Winnipeg’s home for reconciliation, where we can all come together to support Indigenous Peoples and build a stronger community together. It also creates space for new, responsive programming to meet the community’s evolving needs.”
Yvonne (Dodie) Jordaan, Director of the Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
“Culturally relevant and Indigenous-led wellness and training services are critical to supporting Indigenous Peoples living in Winnipeg. Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. has been providing a suite of healing, training and community development programs since 2001, and I am thrilled that Indigenous Services Canada can provide $1.8 million to support their expansion. Once complete, twice as many people will be able to access the space and its services and the centre will be a hub of activity, supports and services for those who need it.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services Canada
“For over 20 years, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. has been a leader in downtown Winnipeg, providing support to Indigenous Peoples through much-needed programs and services such as child care, cultural development activities and mentorship for youth. With our government’s investment of $1.8 million for a Cultural and Wellness Centre, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. will be able to can further support our city’s rapidly growing Indigenous population and offer a welcoming, culturally -relevant and safe space for years to come.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs
- The Ka Ni Kanichihk Cultural and Wellness Centre was established in 2001 to provide learning and healing programs grounded in traditional Indigenous knowledge and trauma-informed practices to Indigenous women, men, children, youth and Two-Spirit people living in Winnipeg.
- The Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP) funding stream, through Indigenous Services Canada, is providing $57.5 million over five years (2020−2021 to 2024−2025).
- UPIP Infrastructure funding supports capital projects such as essential health and safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency to ensure safe and accessible spaces for program and service delivery.
News Source: Yahoo Finance