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PLAY Program Expands To 39 Communities

Archived News Release

PLAY Program Expands To 39 Communities

McGuinty Government And Right To Play Creating Opportunities For Aboriginal Youth

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is helping more than 1,000 Aboriginal children and youth develop leadership skills to strengthen our future workforce, with support from partners.

The Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program has expanded to 39 First Nation communities across the province. PLAY is designed to develop young leaders within the community and empower them to create positive change.

The program has created more than 30 full-time jobs for community mentors who work with Aboriginal youth to take part in training workshops, plan community events and participate in sports. Fifty jobs have also been created for Aboriginal youth to work with community mentors to deliver programs.

Creating more opportunities for youth to succeed is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to support families, create new jobs and build a brighter future for all Ontarians.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government has committed more than $1.5 million over four years to support PLAY.
  • Private sector partners have contributed $2 million to the PLAY program.
  • Bruce Power and Goldcorp are the newest corporate partners to support the program, which was developed by Right To Play.
  • 27 per cent of Ontario's Aboriginal population is under the age of 16.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“I am thrilled PLAY is expanding to 39 First Nations communities, benefiting over 1,000 children and youth, and creating local jobs. Together, we are improving quality of life for Aboriginal youth, and investing in Ontario's future.”

Kathleen Wynne

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“The PLAY program has been embraced by our partners and is delivering meaningful skills and positive experiences to its participants and their communities. We are proud of what has been accomplished to date and optimistic for the future. PLAY inspires change.”

Robert Witchel

National Director, Canada, Right To Play

“We have seen positive results across our northern First Nation communities because of our partnership with Right To Play and Ontario. I am thrilled that Nishnawbe Aski Nation is involved with this program as it continues to expand across 39 First Nation communities in Ontario, a good portion of them located within NAN Territory. The Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth program helps develop leadership skills and creates confidence in our young people which contributes to the success and health of our communities and Canada as a whole.”

Grand Chief Stan Beardy

Nishnawbe Aski Nation

“The PLAY program provides a valuable opportunity for First Nations children and youth to engage in recreational activities with an emphasis on leadership development and goal-setting for the future. The expansion of this unique program to 39 First Nations communities in Ontario will enable more First Nation children and youth to participate and learn some important new skills that will serve them well in the future.”

Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse

Chiefs of Ontario

Media Contacts



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