Yukon Status of Women Council co-directors Aja Mason, left, and Heidi Marion speak to media on May 10 after an announcement by Yukon MP Larry Bagnell that four women’s organizations in the Yukon would be receiving up to $2.6 million in project funding from the federal government. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News)

Four Yukon women’s organizations to receive up to $2.6 million in federal funding

Five projects spearheaded by four local organizations will be receiving cash from two federal funds

Four women’s organizations in the Yukon will collectively be receiving up to $2.6 million in funding from the federal government to support capacity and program-building initiatives.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, on behalf of federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef, made the announcement in Whitehorse on May 10.

Projects by Les EssentiElles, the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre and the Yukon Status of Women Council will receive cash over five years from the federal government’s Capacity-building Fund, while a project by the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society and another by the Yukon Status of Women Council will receive funds via the Gender-based Violence Program.

Bagnell told reporters that the projects “embody what the modern movement is all about — supporting women and girls with diverse challenges by offering innovative services to help them reach their full potential.”

“These organizations understand the importance and the necessity of collaboration in order to sustain a strong, viable and inclusive women’s movement,” he said.

“Advancing gender equality takes a village. No one person, one government or organization could achieve it alone, but together, we are strong, and I know these investments will allow these organizations to become even stronger.”

Speaking to media after the announcement, Yukon Status of Women Council co-director Aja Mason described the capacity-building money, of which the council will receive $550,620, as “immensely helpful” when it comes to sustaining the council beyond the typical one or three-year funding cycles.

“What that translates into is not only building a strategic plan that is reflective of the kinds of mandates and priorities that we’ve recently emphasized, but also to develop things like rebranding, a new logo, looking at sustainability models,” she explained.

Les EssentiElles executive director Jocelyne Isabelle said the $133,680 in capacity-building funding the organization will receive will assist with better training and retention of its board members.

“The French community is very small, and it’s difficult to find people who will engage themselves on our work,” she said.

“This money will serve for us to be able to keep our board members … and give them tools to be able to do what they have to do on a long-term basis.”

The Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre will receive $244,625 to hire a human resources research assistant to redevelop its own policies using a “decolonial, women-focused, northern lens,” according to a press release tied to the announcement.

The Yukon Status of Women Council will also be receiving up to $625,000 in funding from the Gender-based Violence Program to create “safe, accessible, and culturally-appropriate supports for Yukon-based women who are survivors of sexual exploitation and looking to leave the sex trade.”

Under the same program, the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society will be receiving up to $1 million to “test a community-based, culturally-relevant advocacy model for supporting Indigenous women and girl survivors of gender-based violence.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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