YELLOWKNIFE (December 5, 2013) – Twenty-four delegates at the NWT Anti-Poverty Roundtable signed an Anti-Poverty Charter and committed to plans of action.
“Poverty is complex and requires action on many fronts,” said Glen Abernethy, Chair of the Social Envelope Committee of Cabinet. “Our Government’s priorities all work together to address poverty. By supporting our people to be healthy and educated, we encourage them to take advantage of economic opportunities. Those opportunities create prosperity for their communities, making them more sustainable and encouraging further personal investments in healthy lifestyles. During the roundtable, we heard deeply personal accounts of living in poverty, and participants agreed to start work immediately.”
“I was very pleased to attend the roundtable and excited to see the passion and discussion from Territorial organizations as well as Aboriginal leaders to work on developing an action plan to end poverty,” said Alfred Moses, Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Programs. “There has been plenty of talk and now is the time to take action.”
The roundtable provided a broad forum for Aboriginal organizations, community organizations, band councils and non-government organizations to identify best practices, priorities, and actions they can take in partnership with the GNWT to eliminate poverty. They divided into small groups to develop their own concrete plans for action that could be implemented in their home communities.
The new charter confirms participants’ commitments to work together at all levels to develop a territorial action plan. Over the coming months, the GNWT will continue to invite stakeholders to sign the charter and propose actions to eliminate poverty in the NWT.
Delegates all identified the need to move from talk to actions. Julie Green, representing the No Place for Poverty Coalition, highlighted this, saying, “I want to stress the need for action now in areas such as access to affordable quality childcare and safe housing. We need to look at the short-term as well as the long-term.”
Liidlii Kue Chief Minnie Letcher highlighted the necessity of a co-operative, multi-sectoral approach: “At the community level we know what needs to be done – just ask us.”
A territorial action plan and performance measurement framework will support evidence-based decision-making to eliminate poverty. Monitoring and reporting results will help all participants develop and adjust their own plans for action.
Building on the Strengths of Northerners: A Strategic Framework toward the Elimination of Poverty in the NWT identifies five priority areas, with a focus on children and families, healthy living, safe and affordable housing, sustainable communities and better integration of services. By targeting these areas, the Framework provides the roadmap for stakeholders to work together to eliminate poverty, a goal of the 17th Legislative Assembly.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Premier and Executive Council
Government of the Northwest Territories