Ottawa – Today, the National Youth Council (NYC) of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) launched a campaign geared towards educating the public and supporting Indigenous youth across the country who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The launch included a new website, www.capyouth.ca.
“Young Indigenous peoples in Canada, particularly those living off-reserve, have seen major negative impacts as a result of this ongoing pandemic, aside from the COVID-19 virus itself,” said Richard Cooper, NYC President. “Our campaign highlights five key themes that are disproportionately impacting Indigenous youth, including health, mental health, broadband and technology, youth homelessness, and Indigenous youth rights”.
The impacts of COVID-19 go beyond the direct threat of the coronavirus itself. Unfortunately, off-reserve Indigenous youth face disproportionate challenges in accessing government programs and services; this pandemic has only furthered these barriers to access. The NYC is the national voice for off-reserve Indigenous youth in Canada; off-reserve Indigenous peoples constitute the majority of all Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“Indigenous youth have also faced barriers in accessing vital resources around culture and identity, and the move towards staying at home presents several challenges around many traditional Indigenous cultural activities,” added Cooper. “With this in mind, our national campaign includes a number of resources on connecting to culture, including upcoming events across different regions, as well as links to current literature, music, Indigenous activists, and other cultural supports.”
This campaign also serves as a reminder to the Federal government of its fiduciary responsibility under the Daniel’s Decision to provide equal supports for Indigenous peoples living off-reserve, and youth are no exception. This NYC and CAP continue to stand ready to work with the Federal government to address gaps in programs and services and work together to ensure off-reserve Indigenous youth are supported, especially during this pandemic.
“As our campaign progresses, we will be sharing social media content and other forms of media engagement to connect directly with our constituents across Canada, and this campaign will be in both English and French,” concluded Cooper. “Our NYC board has been working hard on behalf of their constituents, and this campaign launch presents a new opportunity to better educate and inform the public.”
The campaign site can be found here.