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News Release

October 29, 2009

Aboriginal Leadership and Affordable Housing Get $1.5 Million

Programs to Increase Rural Leadership and Community Capacity across Alberta

Tofield – Rural Alberta’s Development Fund (RADF) announced funding today of $1.5 million for two new rural Alberta projects. The funding will provide leadership training for Alberta’s Aboriginal communities and Habitat for Humanity programming for communities in the province’s north-central region.

Funding of $1.3 million will help Aboriginal groups, provincial educators and various community stakeholders equip Alberta’s next generation of Aboriginal rural leaders with the tools they need to succeed. The Aboriginal Leadership Best Practices Project will be lead by The Banff Centre for Continuing Education.

An investment of $150,000 will allow Habitat for Humanity to adapt and pilot a rural Alberta affordable housing program in north-central Alberta. Initial partner communities in the Habitat for Humanity – Northern Development Project are Barrhead, Hinton, Edson, Fairview, Wetaskiwin and Whitecourt.

“By providing Albertans with tools and programs they can use to make their communities better places to live we are ensuring that the positive impact of our funding will continue well beyond our initial investment of money,” said Bob Clark, RADF Chair.

“Rural Alberta’s Development Fund provides communities with tools necessary for long-term success and sustainability,” said George Groeneveld, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “These two initiatives take a hands-on approach by creating leadership opportunities within Aboriginal youth and expanding the Habitat for Humanity program to north-central Alberta.”

Rural Alberta’s Development Fund is a not-for-profit company that to date has invested $68.7 million in 60 projects in rural Alberta. It received its initial funding from the Government of Alberta and is a key implementation initative of Alberta’s Rural Development Strategy. More information is available at www.ruralalbertasfund.com

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Direct media enquiries to:
Godfrey Huybregts, Director of Communications, Rural Alberta’s Development Fund
T: 1.877.940.7233 C: 780.953.0525



Summary of Approved Projects

October 29, 2009

Fund contribution is $1.3 million

RADF funding will allow The Banff Centre for Continuing Education, through its Nexen Chair in Aboriginal Leadership, to develop a new, hands-on community based leadership training program for Alberta’s Aboriginal communities. This project will bring together five Aboriginal community partners and a host of stakeholders and community supporters to build a tool box of skills and educational materials for rural Aboriginal leaders. Leaders will be able to take these skills back to their communities to foster sustained, self-determined social and economic development.

Partners in this project include The Banff Centre for Continuing Education, Mikisew Group of Companies, Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, Alberta Indian Investment Corporation, Métis Nation of Alberta and Métis Crossing.

Expected results include:

  • Increased involvement in Aboriginal community leadership by young adults.
  • Increased participation in leadership, governmental and civic affairs by members of Alberta’s Aboriginal communities.
  • Development of program that can be adapted by all of Alberta’s Aboriginal communities.

Contact: Sarah Hayes, Chief Development Officer, The Banff Centre for Continuing Education
T: 403.762.6217

Fund contribution is $150,000

Funding from RADF will allow Habitat for Humanity to develop a program that will provide north-central Alberta communities with access to the knowledge, resources and infrastructure they require to establish their own Habitat for Humanity programs. Skills learned by participating communities will allow them to build affordable housing in their own communities using the Habitat for Humanity model.

The communities of Barrhead, Hinton, Edson, Fairview, Wetaskiwin and Whitecourt will join Habitat for Humanity – Edmonton Society as the initial project partner.

Expected results include:

  • Development of a Habitat for Humanity training program for rural communities
  • An increase in affordable housing for rural low-income families
  • Development of a program that can be expanded to communities across rural Alberta

Contact: Alfred Nikolai, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity – Edmonton Society
T: 780.479.3566