Funding to the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) will support programs to help Indigenous women find jobs, security and success in Alberta’s rapidly recovering economy.

With a focus on job readiness, retention and improved access to vital services, these programs will help participants build skills and confidence by offering customized plans to help develop career paths, from pre-employment training and education to long-term achievements in the workplace.

The IAAW will also provide advocacy, referrals and strategies for mental health, housing, transportation, child care and assistance navigating the justice system.

“Economic security is central to the well-being of Indigenous women. These programs and services are vital in providing basic necessities like child care and transportation or help navigating the complex justice system.”  

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“IAAW is grateful for the Government of Alberta’s support. These programs are designed to support Indigenous women, and they – like so many other women – have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs are so important in helping Indigenous women bounce back, addressing the barriers that were present before the pandemic that may now be magnified.”

Rachelle Venne, CEO, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women

The IAAW received $292,000 for the Job Readiness Navigator Program, $240,350 for the Job Retention Navigator Program and $249,500 for the Systems Navigator Program. These grants are in addition to $115,000 in annual core funding to the institute, which is in the second year of a five-year funding agreement with the Alberta government. This adds up to almost $900,000 in government funding to the IAAW in 2021-22 to help Indigenous women in Alberta gain financial security and success. 

Quick facts

  • Fifty Indigenous women will benefit from the Job Readiness Navigator and 35 will access the Job Retention Navigator programs.
  • In the System Navigator’s first year (2020-21), 95 women and their families participated, which amounted to about 225 individuals receiving direct or indirect support through the program.
  • Funding for the job readiness and retention navigator programs was provided through the Employment Partnerships Program (EPP).
    • The EPP provides funding to Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program agreement holders for Indigenous workforce development. This program is funded federally through the Canada-Alberta Labour Market Development Agreement.
  • A set amount of $15,000 from the IAAW’s $115,000 annual operational funding agreement is dedicated to the annual Esquao Awards, which celebrate exemplary Indigenous women across Alberta.