HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.
Labrador MP Yvonne Jones was in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Nov. 14 to announce over $2,225,000 in federal funding for nine projects in Labrador around the impacts of climate change and women’s economic security.
“They will help build capacity to mitigate the negative aspects of climate change and support and conserve species at risk and develop climate change resilient research for our region,” Jones said.
She said these four projects, accounting for $475,000 of the funding, would help protect species at risk and help build capacity for Indigenous governments to deal with the issue. All of these projects specifically mention the Boreal Woodland Caribou, which is currently being evaluated by the federal government for endangered status.
The Innu Nation received $280,000 in funding for two projects, one for the Environmental Guardians Program and another for capacity building and engagement of Innu in conservation and recovery efforts of the caribou.
Another $60,000 in funding went to the Nunatsiavut Government (NG) to assist with their caribou conservation efforts.
“Certainly the issue on caribou, whether it’s the George River, Torngat Mountains or Mealy Mountains herds, is that we don’t know enough,” Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe told The Labradorian. “The funding to look at that will certainly help us find out what are the issues. There are a lot of beliefs about what those are but this will help us find that out.”
The lions share of the funding went to the Nunatsiavut Government for four programs, including $500,000 to support the Torngat Mountains Base Camp Research Centre and $300,000 in funding for the Kangidluasuk Student Program, which helps support Inuit youth in studying Inuit culture, Arctic science and outdoor adventure and recreation.
NG also received $273,534 in funding for sewer and wastewater infrastructure upgrades for the community of Hopedale. Lampe said infrastructure challenges related to climate change are real in NG communities and Hopedale presents a special challenge.
“The community is mostly on bedrock and putting in water and sewer services into that community is going to take a lot of money and a lot of smarts to figure out what to do to make sure that the community and residents will have water and sewer services 24/7,” Lampe noted. “Those issues have to be looked at and hopefully this funding will be a start.”
Just under $600,000 in funding will go to the Nunatukavut Community Council (NCC) for two projects, one surrounding six species at risk, including the caribou and another for a project to help Indigenous women with systemic barriers to employment.
Women’s economic security
NCC CEO Dorothy Earle said funding for the Pathways to Economic Security for Indigenous Women in Nunatukavut project will help them address barriers women encounter in the workforce. She said as part of the project they’ll be hiring a staff person for the project and they’ll be looking at training women in essential skills and for the mining sector.
“We want to give them industry specific skills but also soft skills,” she said. “Those can help with whatever career path they choose. It’s an interesting project and will help us focus on women in the workforce and in economic development in a more succinct way.”
Earle said they’ve been working on these issues all along but in a more piecemeal way. This allows them to focus more on the issues that women face and help them overcome them.
“It’s really exciting, it’s the first time we’ve ever had any funding like this and the first time we’ve had any real dedicated staff for moving women’s policy issues and initiatives for women,” she said.
The Mokami Status of Women Council received $236,880 in funding for their Pathways to Economic Prosperity for Women in Transition project.
“We’re excited to get these women back into the workforce and to improve their lives through economic growth,” Council president Jackie Compton-Hobbs said.