New Projects with Indigenous Partners to Tackle Poverty Across Ontario

Province Supporting Innovative Solutions to Help People Find Jobs, End Homelessness

January 19, 2017 1:30 P.M.

Poverty Reduction Strategy

Ontario is working with Indigenous partners across the province to support seven projects that will help people break the cycle of poverty, find good jobs and end homelessness, while meeting the unique challenges and needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, visited Matawa First Nations Management in Thunder Bay today to announce the new support.

Matawa First Nation Management’s entrepreneurship program will help community members in nine First Nations start or grow their small businesses, by identifying opportunities, clarifying ideas and ventures, developing business plans, identifying sources of funding and measuring impact and success. It includes partnerships with the Canadian Executive Services Organization and Rise Asset Development, to deliver workshops, business coaching and access to funding. It will also connect participants with local economic development officer networks and partners with entrepreneurial and small business lending experience.

The seven projects are funded through Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund. Part of this funding supports data collection, which will help develop more effective poverty reduction programs across the province.

Fighting poverty is part of the government’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy, and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Matawa First Nations Management is receiving more than over $1 million for this program.
  • Ontario is investing more than $4.5 million in seven innovative, community-driven programs from Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led organizations that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. This exceeds Ontario’s commitment to provide a minimum of $2 million of support.
  • The seven projects announced today are part of a recently announced investment of over $16 million to support 30 community partner-led projects through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund.
  • The fund supports innovative grassroots programs that encourage communities to collaborate on solutions for groups disproportionately affected by poverty including women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Indigenous Peoples.
  • These projects focus on local community partnerships and include a third-party evaluation component.
  • Organizations have one more opportunity to apply for funding in 2017.

Additional Resources


“We know that Indigenous individuals and families face far greater rates of poverty than their non-Indigenous neighbours. That’s why we created a dedicated funding stream for Indigenous-led organizations and communities within the Local Poverty Reduction Fund to streamline the application process, provide more one-on-one support to applicants, and ensure the unique challenges and needs of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples are addressed. We look forward to working with these partners as they design and deliver programs that get real results and generate progress in the fight against poverty.”

Chris Ballard
Minister of Housing, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a strong step to solve one of the most complex societal issues. I’m pleased that Matawa First Nations Management are helping us measure how they make a real difference in the lives of people who are developing their entrepreneurial capacity to leave poverty behind.”

David Zimmer
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“By including the Matawa member First Nations in the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, our government is taking a significant step forward in helping build capacity and create meaningful employment. Our government looks forward to continuing to work with the Matawa Nations to create economic opportunities that will benefit their communities.”

Michael Gravelle
Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North

“Matawa First Nations are pleased to receive the support of the Ontario government to reduce poverty through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund. With this opportunity, they can begin the steps to build their small business sector and take advantage of large scale projects that seek to operate in their communities.”

David Paul Achneepineskum
CEO, Matawa First Nations Management

Media Contacts

Laura Gallant
Minister’s Office

Joshua Henry
Communications Branch
(416) 325-5760


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