Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people experience higher rates of violence than other Albertans, which is why Alberta’s government is providing $4 million to address and prevent violence through Indigenous-led actions funded by the Community Support Fund. Indigenous women and 2S+ people helped identify the most promising projects to fund that will maximize the positive impact of this grant program last year and will play an important role in decision making this year, as well. The fund will begin accepting applications for the 2024-25 fiscal year starting May 13.

The Community Support Fund supports projects that address violence and support participants' safety, well-being and economic security through healing circles, mentorship connections, peer support networks, job skills training and financial literacy programs. In 2023-24, 25 grant recipients received funding for Indigenous-led, community-based projects and initiatives.

“We recognize Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people know what’s needed to make Alberta a safer place for them, and that’s why we’re funding Indigenous-led solutions. This grant program will help make a positive difference for hundreds of people across the province.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The Skydancer Indigenous Cultural Centre in Spruce Grove is one of last year’s recipients. They received more than $136,000 so the centre can offer guided sessions and counselling using traditional Indigenous teachings. Participants in Skydancer’s “Mistatim Journey” project will embark on a healing journey where they will have opportunities to attend sharing circles, participate in equine therapy, make ribbon skirts, practice arts, including painting and sculpting, and make medicine bags. Through creative expression and self-exploration, they will gain a deeper connection to their culture and become empowered to build healthy relationships.

“I am so grateful for the meaningful and impactful commitment that Alberta’s government continues to display with progams like the Community Support Fund. Here at Skydancer Indigenous Cultural Centre, we have been able to offer culturally-sensitive programs and guided sessions to ensure Indigenous women girls and 2S+ people feel safe, respected and hopeful for a brighter future. I applaud the government’s ongoing commitment to end this crisis.”

Dianne Meili, president, Skydancer Indigenous Cultural Centre

Projects like these support Indigenous peoples in urban centres and in their own communities, and with strong commitment from Alberta’s government, the Community Support Fund will continue to make real, meaningful change for Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people across the province for a brighter, safer and more prosperous future.

Quick facts

  • Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people face systemic barriers to safety and economic security, leading to increased rates of violence. For example:
    • Between 2009 and 2021, the rate of homicide against First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls was six times higher than the rate among non-Indigenous women.
    • Almost six in ten (56 per cent) Indigenous women have experienced physical assault while almost half (46 per cent) of Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault, compared to the national average of 34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively.
    • Two-spirit plus people experience significantly higher rates of violence than the average Albertan, with 73 per cent of Indigenous sexual minorities experiencing physical assault and 65 per cent experiencing sexual assault, compared with 45 per cent and 37 per cent of non-Indigenous sexual minorities.
  • The Community Support Fund supports actions under the following three streams:
    • Addressing violence by supporting projects and initiatives, such as sharing circles and supporting clients in a women’s shelter.
    • Increasing safety by raising awareness of safety-related issues in communities and promoting the well-being of Indigenous women, girls and 2S+ people.
    • Increasing economic security through actions, such as job skills development and increased access to job opportunities.

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