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New Projects with Indigenous Partners to Break the Cycle of Poverty Across Ontario

Archived News Release

New Projects with Indigenous Partners to Break the Cycle of Poverty Across Ontario

Province Supporting Innovative Solutions to Increase Food Access, Help People Find Jobs and End Homelessness

Poverty Reduction Strategy

Ontario is working with Indigenous partners to deliver 14 projects that will help people break the cycle of poverty, increase access to safe and nutritious food, find good jobs and end homelessness, while meeting the unique challenges and needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, was in Thunder Bay today to make the announcement.

Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic will receive support to help vulnerable people get the identification they need to access housing, income support, education, banking services, employment or government benefits and services. This program will cover the upfront cost of applications and will help people complete forms by gathering the required information. The clinic will also provide ongoing case management and referrals to appropriate community and governmental services and benefits.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) will receive support to provide resources to multiple NAN communities that are working to increase access to safe and nutritious food through the Kiitigaan Megwe-Nishnawbe, or Good Things Growing Among People program, to develop ways to measure the effectiveness of culturally appropriate Indigenous food systems evaluation practices. Local food developers will help each community determine how and what they measure to guide their community food practices and innovations.

In total, 14 projects are being funded through Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund. Part of this funding supports data collection, which will help develop more effective poverty reduction programs across the province.

Working together with Indigenous partners to reduce poverty is one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners and create a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts

  • Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic will receive more than $200,000 to implement the Awenen Niin Identification Program.
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation is receiving more than $800,000 for this program.
  • Ontario is investing more than $16 million in 48 projects in communities across Ontario, including over $6 million in 20 employment and income security projects, more than $5 million in 14 projects from Indigenous-led organizations, $3 million in 12 projects that are homelessness-related, and more than $4.5 million in 14 projects that are related to food security.
  • These projects focus on local community partnerships and include a third-party evaluation component, which is important because better data will help communities develop better solutions to increasing food security, reducing child poverty and homelessness, and helping people find jobs and earn a stable income.

Additional Resources


“We know that Indigenous individuals and families face far greater rates of poverty than their non-Indigenous neighbours. That’s why we created a dedicated funding stream for Indigenous-led organizations and communities within the Local Poverty Reduction Fund. It helps ensure the unique challenges and needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples are addressed. Their findings can inform future policy, lead to more strategic investments, and result in better outcomes. This year, we are investing in projects that will help increase access to safe and nutritious food across the province as part of a food security strategy that will lay the foundation for people to live healthy and active lives.”

Peter Milczyn

Minister of Housing, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a strong step to solve one of the most complex societal issues. I’m pleased that Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic and Nishnawbe Aski Nation are helping us measure how they make a real difference in the lives of people by finding ways to gather data that will inform how we continue to work together to support communities.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“By including the Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic and Nishnawbe Aski Nation in the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, our government is taking a significant step forward in helping build capacity and create meaningful employment. Our government looks forward to continuing to work with our partners to create economic opportunities that will benefit their communities.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

“Food security and poverty are critical issues in our First Nation Communities and I applaud Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic and Nishawbe Aski Nation for their innovative approaches to addressing these challenges. Both organizations offer individuals access to the services and supports they need to live independently and with dignity, which is why I am proud of our government’s support of these projects through Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund.”

Bill Mauro

Minister of Municipal Affairs, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

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