Women's Program Funding in Action
Old Town Storytellers Foundation

Hazelton, BC

K'yuuksxw- Waking up to Change

Young women sharing a meal

A two-year project in Northern British Columbia has finished on a high note, having built collaboration and effective partnerships in support of women's economic security in the rural and remote regions of Upper Skeena. Community stakeholders – individual women, local, regional and provincial governments, women's, Aboriginal and other community leaders and groups, economic development agencies, businesses and business associations, financial and training institutions – came together to address institutional barriers to women's financial independence. The project, which proved life-altering for some of the participants, targeted young women between the ages of 19 and 30, mostly from Aboriginal communities in the region and all having lived or currently living in poverty. The organization also served as a link between concurrent projects in the community, such as an affordable housing strategy, a graduated employment model and environmental stewardship initiatives.

“K'yuuksxw - Waking up to Change was a grassroots project that built resilience alongside economic security among women of the Upper Skeena. The power of this project lay in the depth and diversity of women who engaged, in a meaningful way, in creating a coordinated approach to housing, building women's collectives, generating a model for supported employment and honouring the traditional system of care of the Gitxsan. Over the course of this two-year project, we supported women living at the margins to take their place at community tables alongside local decision-makers. We celebrated our strengths and built a model for change rooted in our unique home, this pristine place in Northwest BC at the confluence of the Bulkley and Skeena rivers.”

Beth DeMaio, Executive Director
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