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Government of Canada announces $1.72 million investment in 5 women’s and equality-seeking organizations in the prairies

Press Release

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced $1.72 million for five organizations across the Prairies:

  • Alberta Network of Immigrant Women – $300,437
  • Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta – $399,490
  • Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association – $377,934
  • Bonnyville Friendship Centre – $198,000
  • Ikayuktiit Incorporated Inc. (MB) – $450,000

With this funding, these organizations will be able to increase their capacity to continue their important work to address gender equality issues in their communities and to overcome the unique challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on women.

These investments will also help the organizations develop partnerships, implement strong policies, procedures, and services to better support those who need it most, including survivors of human trafficking, and help women develop leadership skills, be safe, become financially secure, find full-time employment, and meaningfully engage in all aspects of life in Canada.

Much more work remains to be done to achieve gender equality. By partnering, investing and supporting organizations like these, Canada is better equipped to address the systemic barriers to gender equality – bringing us all one step closer to a safer, better, more inclusive Canada for everyone.


“Today’s investment of $1.72 million will support important work that ensures women and underrepresented groups have more economic opportunity, including equal access to leadership roles. As a direct result of ongoing investment our government has made, in 2019-2020 alone, an estimated six million people were positively impacted by projects just like these. Frontline organizations are an integral part of shaping a stronger, more inclusive Canada.”

The Honourable Jim Carr, MP, Special Representative for the Prairies

“Alberta Network of Immigrant Women is pleased to be the recipient of a grant from Women and Gender Equality Canada. We look forward to starting this project and hope our work contributes to highlighting how important it is to provide a level economic playing field for immigrant women and how critical it is that stakeholders participate in creating equitable hiring practices for all marginalized members of our society.”

Kamal Sehgal, Executive Director, Alberta Network of Immigrant Women

“ACT Alberta is pleased to partner with Women and Gender Equality Canada to prevent and disrupt human trafficking throughout the province. With over a decade of experience leading anti-human trafficking initiatives throughout the province, we are excited to expand our existing education and response programs to underserved regions. This multi-year investment will develop understanding and response for participating organizations and help end a crime that targets the most vulnerable in our communities”

Jessica Brandon, Interim Executive Director, Action Coalition on Human Trafficking Alberta Association

“There are few Indigenous specific supports, programs, or interventions in Alberta regarding human trafficking and exploitation despite the disproportionate number of Indigenous victims. This funding will support the ongoing good work of the 21 Friendship Centres across Alberta to address Indigenous gender and structural inequalities to meet the needs of Indigenous women and youth through this upstream prevention model. Through culturally appropriate content and traditional knowledge our project focuses on empowering Indigenous youth in our 21 Friendship Centre communities to educate, create awareness, and advocate as agents of change to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of their Indigenous peers.”

Joanne Mason, Executive Director, Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association

“Bonnyville Canadian Native Friendship Centre is extremely pleased with the announcement of our successful grant, Iskwew Iskowtew Project (Where People Gather to Heal). When Women and Gender Equality Canada announced the call for proposals our Community Initiatives Coordinator, Janet Gobert acknowledged a gap in our service provision which had the potential to be bridged by this proposed funding opportunity. Due to prior funding restrictions, Bonnyville Friendship Centre had only set the foundation of offering minimal service to those directly involved in human trafficking and those impacted. Bonnyville Friendship Centre looks forward to working with a strong advisory board of representatives from the Bonnyville community district in addressing this need within our community.”

Lauri Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Bonnyville Friendship Centre

“On the heels of devastating news regarding the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential Schools, it behooves us all to remain steadfast on surrounding ourselves with government allies who are committed to reconciliation in action with Inuit, First Nations and Metis in Canada. Ikayuqtiit Incorporated, the charity organization created by Manitoba Inuit Association to improve health, education and employment outcomes for Inuit in Manitoba, are pleased to strengthen the commitment to Inuit by Women and Gender Equality. We are the recipients of a multi-year investment in building the capacity of our organization whose outreach to Inuit is critical during an incredibly challenging time of COVID-19 and its disproportionate impacts on Inuit in Manitoba.”

Rachel Dutton, Executive Director, Ikayuqtiit Inc.

Quick facts

  • In June 2020, Canada was recognized by CARE as having the most gender-responsive plan to address COVID-19.
  • Part of the funding announced today comes from Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Women’s Program, and a 2018 Budget announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada. Budget 2019 invested a further $160 million over five years in this program, starting in 2019–20.
  • Projects funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada reached approximately six million people in 2019-20, reducing barriers in areas of economic equality and gender-based violence, and building capacity and confidence in the areas of leadership.
  • In 2019, the federal government introduced its $75 million National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking. This includes dedicated funding to create and maintain the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, a multi-lingual, 24/7 service that connects callers to supports and services. This hotline is a secure avenue for providing tips or reporting human trafficking to authorities.
  • The National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking builds on and complements Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. It also advances the implementation of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice.
  • To ensure that anyone facing gender-based violence has reliable and timely access to protection and services, no matter where they live, Budget 2021 committed $601.3 million over five years to advance towards a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. This includes increased funding for initiatives to end human trafficking.
  • In February 2021, Women and Gender Equality Canada launched the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund, a call for proposals totaling $100 million that will support equality-seeking projects helping those in greatest need.

Associated links


Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada
[email protected]


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