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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 2, 2002 - Issue 73


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Equipping Aboriginal Children and Youth in Canada with the Skills to Succeed

credits: art Discovering Wisdom by Leland Bell
Discovering Wisdom by Leland BellEdmonton, Alberta, Canada, October, 23, 2002 - Aboriginal leaders from across the country, together with Lions-Quest Canada and Nokia, today unveiled a national program to equip Canadian Aboriginal youth with essential "skills for life." Launched at Amiskwaciy Academy, a First Nations school in Edmonton, Make a Connection will strengthen the personal and social skills of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children ranging from 5 to 18 years of age.

Canada is the 12th country to become part of Make a Connection - a global initiative of the International Youth Foundation and Nokia.

The objective of Make a Connection in Canada is to empower more than 15,000 Aboriginal youth with skills such as improved communication, conflict resolution, respect for self and others, goal setting and community involvement. Youth-serving agencies, nurses, police, teachers, youth workers and parents will learn how to better support youth development. Together they will provide a caring web of support and help young people become strong, contributing members of the community.

"Today's First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth face unique challenges, often lacking the social support needed for personal growth", says Joanne McQuiggan, executive director of Lions-Quest. "Make a Connection will empower them to set and reach their goals, and instill in them self-confidence and pride. If we can provide the tools for them to realize their dreams, we've fulfilled the goals of this program."

Make a Connection will be introduced in three Canadian communities in early 2003 - including a major urban centre, a reserve and a remote community. By the conclusion of the three-year program, a total of 15 communities and 15,000 young people will have benefited from Make a Connection.

"This new Make a Connection program is a natural extension of Nokia's global efforts to promote life-skills training," says Allan Gilchrist, President of Nokia Canada. "The introduction of Make a Connection demonstrates Nokia's and our employees' commitment to the Canadian market, and reinforces our willingness to contribute to the well-being of children and youth in Canada."

About Make a Connection
Make a Connection is a global, multi-year partnership between the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Nokia to promote positive youth development by giving young people an opportunity to "make a connection" to their communities, to their families and peers, and to themselves. The program improves young people's educational opportunities, teaches them life skills and helps them to make a positive contribution to their societies. Country programs are currently running in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and now also in Canada. More information on Make a Connection can be found at

About Lions-Quest
Lions-Quest is an initiative of Lions Clubs International Foundation to teach life skills to youth. Lions-Quest provides services and resources to educators and other adults who work with youth ages 5-19. The goal is to help youth build responsibility and resiliency - the ability to face and overcome life's difficulties - and resist the lure of negative behaviors. Each year, programs developed by Lions-Quest reach more than two million young people in 30 countries, primarily through school-based programs.

About the International Youth Foundation
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is one of the world's largest public foundations focused on children and youth. IYF is dedicated to supporting programs that improve the conditions and prospects for young people where they live, learn, work, and play. Since its founding in 1990, IYF has worked with hundreds of companies, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations to scale up existing programs and build long-term strategic partnerships. Currently operating in nearly 50 countries and territories, IYF and its partners have helped more than 23 million young people gain the skills, training and opportunities critical to their success. More information on IYF can be found at

About Nokia
Nokia is committed to having a positive impact on society that extends beyond the advanced technology, products and service the company creates. Through its partnership with IYF and through other regional philanthropic and social responsibility programs, the company prepares young people to embrace opportunities and possibilities created by the global economy and new technological advancements. The company has been an active regional contributor to youth and education causes for many years, with Nokia employees making their own contributions as volunteers in a range of programs throughout the world. More information on Nokia can be found at

For more information contact:
Doug Dawson
Corporate Communications Manager, Nokia Canada
(416) 918-8612

Joanne McQuiggan
Executive Director
Lions-Quest Canada

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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