Indigenous youth get help to achieve their career potential

TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Through a new national charity, Kocihta; 
foundations, corporations and Canadians are providing Indigenous youth, 
including youth with disabilities/special needs, greater access to mentors, 
career opportunities, and help to stay in school and succeed in the workplace. 
The Counselling Foundation of Canada has granted Kocihta $100K to help support 
its start-up costs in its first year (2013/14), and launch the eMentorship 
pilot in Saskatoon high schools this fall, with the added support of corporate 
partners and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. "We are happy to support the 
work of Kocihta and its belief that a career offers the best way for 
Indigenous youth to achieve their potential," said Bruce Lawson, Foundation 
Executive Director. 
Additional funding will be raised to support Kocihta's programming under the 
watchful guidance of the Kocihta board chair, Charles S. Coffey, O.C., and 
board vice-chairs, Anne Noonan and Rob G. Johnston. "We expect to raise funds 
from within all economic and philanthropic sectors of this great and generous 
nation," said Charles S. Coffey, retired Executive VP of RBC Royal Bank and 
long time advocate of inclusion in Canada. "The least we as Canadians can do, 
is to support Indigenous youth / youth with disabilities/special needs, and 
give them what they rightfully deserve, and want, and what the majority of us 
Canadians have come to expect -- equal opportunity to dream big and excel 
within a career-of-choice." 
"Indigenous people are our nation's largest under-leveraged asset. Securing a 
positive future for Indigenous youth, and preparing Canada's youngest and 
fastest growing workforce for employment, will help close the socio-economic 
gap in Canada, and strengthen the economic future of Indigenous Peoples and 
the nation," said Kelly J. Lendsay, president and CEO of the Aboriginal Human 
Resource Council -- a national social enterprise that created Kocihta to build 
capacity in the Indigenous workforce and complement its work to help 
corporations access skilled Indigenous workers within inclusive workplaces. 
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the average child 
poverty rate for all Indigenous children in Canada is 40 per cent, compared to 
15 per cent for non-Indigenous children. Regionally in Manitoba and 
Saskatchewan, two out of three First Nations children live in poverty. "Youth 
that live in poverty across the nation need help, and Canadians are in the 
position to help Indigenous youth break free of poverty and the cycle of 
unemployment by giving generously to Kocihta," said Coffey. 
Kocihta will launch at a comedy fundraiser, Stand Up for Indigenous Youth, in 
Toronto on Wednesday, October 23 with the support of comedians Scott Thompson, 
Candy Palmater and Don Kelly. Visit to purchase tickets and 
learn more about Kocihta. Fundraiser event sponsors include: Shaw Media, RBC 
Royal Bank, Syncrude, Goldcorp, Talisman Energy, ConocoPhillips, Symcor, 
Centennial College, NationTalk.

SOURCE  Aboriginal Human Resource Council 
Contact: Peggy Berndt National Director, Communications & Charitable 
Development, Aboriginal  Human Resource Council | Kocihta - p: 604.598.2569 - m: 778.995.5053 - 
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CO: Aboriginal Human Resource Council
ST: Ontario 
-0- Oct/15/2013 14:00 GMT
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