Video Launch Celebrates Success of Choose Life, Mid-term Reports Show Need for Funding

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Leadership joined with Elders, youth, and Choose Life Coordinators to celebrate the success of Choose Life across NAN territory during a virtual event today.

“I am very proud of all of the work being done through Choose Life, and I thank everyone for giving their time and effort to this life-saving program. I see the glimmer of hope in our children’s eyes. It shows a happy spirit. Choose Life captures that one important piece of identity of who we are, in terms of our spirituality, our language, our customs, our culture, to work together,” said Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau. “Two independent reports have confirmed what our communities are already seeing – Choose Life works, and this life-saving work must continue.”

The video documents the success of Choose Life and highlights the work being done across NAN communities. The video features first-hand experiences through Choose Life programs from NAN Leaders, youth and Choose Life Coordinators.

“Before Choose Life came, we were struggling to provide programming for our community that respected our cultures and traditions. I am so proud of everyone involved,” said Mattagami Chief Chad Boissoneau. “There are many negative influences that affect our First Nations. These problems need solutions, and one way is to prevent them from happening to our youth in the future. Seeing our youth develop confidence and pride in who they are, you can understand the sense of urgency for this work to continue.”

Also released today are two independent mid-term reports that confirm the success of Choose Life and the value to NAN First Nations. Recommendations to the Government of Canada include:

  • Increase the age for participation in programming to include youth up to 24 years of age.
  • Expand funding to include infrastructure to carry out programming, events, and improve accessibility.
  • Support more language, land-based, and cultural events and programming including virtual and in-person events and gatherings.
  • Provide long-term federal funding to continue supporting children and youth.

The reports have been submitted to Indigenous Services Canada.

Launched in 2017, Choose Life is a life-saving initiative that builds resiliency in NAN youth. From its inception to February 2020, Choose Life has provided funding to organizations serving approximately 20,000 children and youth annually within NAN communities.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790
mheintzman@nan.ca