On February 3rd, representatives of the Katimavik Board, management and alumni met with Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, along with his team of advisors. Mr. Schiefke emphasized the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to Canadian youth; he named himself Minister for Youth. Our meeting was part of a broad consultation process being led by Mr. Schiefke. He was directed by the Prime Minister to assess the needs of Canadian youth and to compile a report of organizations which can assist the government in delivering on its electoral commitments regarding youth. These include a national youth community volunteer service, the development of citizenship and the appreciation of Canada’s diversity, and enhanced employability. There is also the government’s overarching commitment to the reconciliation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Mr. Schiefke will submit his assessment and recommendations to the Prime Minister in time for the upcoming budget. Katimavik reviewed its proven track record and its eagerness to resume its national core program and make an unequalled contribution towards the government’s objectives, specifically with regard to:
- Community volunteer service by diverse young Canadians;
- Katimavik youth as leaders in active reconciliation; and
- Katimavik volunteers developing 21st century citizenship and skills.
Katimavik also reviewed its Collaboration and Partnership Model, involving both federal and provincial governments as key funders, and other key sectors of Canadian society as key partners and funders for innovative projects. The partners include communities and community partners, Indigenous organizations, the corporate sector, postsecondary educational institutions, and the Katimavik alumni. Katimavik outlined its ability to execute a full re-launch of the national program within 6 months of confirmed funding, along with its resource requirements. The core program will largely mirror Katimavik’s traditional youth volunteering and community service model, with the added emphasis on incorporating indigenous reconciliation into the programs. Meanwhile, we continue with our innovative specialty programming for Indigenous youth, in partnership with Indigenous governments, and with the Ecostage program supported by the Quebec Government. Mr. Schiefke advised that no funding decisions will be made until a comprehensive assessment has been conducted and thoroughly reviewed in light of the Government’s other priorities. It was agreed that these important consultations will continue, and that Katimavik will submit details of its re-launch plan. 24