Working Together to Increase the Participation of Urban Aboriginal People in Grande Prairie

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced support to the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre for a project aimed at helping to increase the participation of urban Aboriginal people living in Grande Prairie in the local economy.

With support from the Harper Government, the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre will participate in the development of a community strategic plan to better address barriers to employment for urban Aboriginal people living in Grande Prairie.

The plan will bring together local governments, Aboriginal organizations, the private and not-for-profit sectors in a coordinated effort to better address the needs of urban Aboriginal people in the Grande Prairie area.

Additionally, this project will feed into the development of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy Regional Strategic Plan for Alberta to ensure that efforts are aligned with the provincial government’s economic and job creation priorities. Both the regional and community strategic plans will ensure a coordinated and focussed effort in support of urban Aboriginal peoples across the province in acquiring the necessary skills for employment.

Funding is provided as part of the Government of Canada’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy aimed at increasing the participation of urban Aboriginal people in Canada’s economy by developing partnerships and supporting initiatives in communities across the country.

Quick Facts

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre received $100,000 from the Urban Partnerships program in support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is an incorporated, non-profit Aboriginal organization that administers and implements programs for Aboriginal people living in or relocating to Grande Prairie.
Grande Prairie’s strong economy carries a high demand for employment in all sectors of business, services and the trades industry. With such a high population growth in the Grande Prairie area there is an imbalance in the supply and demand of workers.
Recruitment and retention of workers is crucial for the success of business. Employers recognize the Aboriginal community has many skilled and talented potential employees and have indicated a willingness to work with the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre to develop an approach to recruit and retain Aboriginal employees with the goal of long-term employment.
56% of all Aboriginal people in Canada live in urban areas. 5295 Aboriginal people live in Grande Prairie.


“The Government of Canada is proud to provide funding to the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. Supporting measures that help create jobs and encourage Aboriginal participation in the economy is another step the Government is taking to enable Aboriginal people to take advantage of our country’s economic prosperity.

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

“Our Government continues to take concrete steps that support the increased participation of Aboriginal people in the Peace Country economy. Through this project, the community will develop ways to reduce the barriers that urban Aboriginal people face in gaining meaningful employment.”

Chris Warkentin
Member of Parliament, Peace River

“The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre is thrilled to be working on community planning with the support of the federal government. We will be able to bring into focus the big picture, which we will use as our compass, as we navigate our path. This initiative will enable us to collaborate with community partners, industry and government while we move forward as a people and a region.”

Kelly Benning
Executive Director, Grande Prairie Friendship Centre

Related products

Backgrounder: Urban Aboriginal Programming, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Fact Sheet: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy: Urban Partnerships and Community Capacity Supports
Frequently Asked Questions: The Improved Urban Aboriginal Strategy

Additional links

Grande Prairie Friendship Centre
Urban Aboriginal Peoples




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