Young women will develop self-confidence and leadership skills and aboriginal and Metis youth will get help overcoming barriers to employment with two new programs being offered through the White Buffalo Aboriginal and Metis Health Society.
Kamloops MP Cathy McLeod announced funding for the two programs Wednesday morning to the smiles and thanks of society members.
The first program, Setting The Stage For Girls and Young Women to Succeed, involves $200,000 spent over two years to help boost self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills in women from 19 to 24 years of age.
White Buffalo executive director Deborah Canada was thrilled with the program and the potential it offers the 80 women who get to take it.
"One day they will be our leaders," she said.
The program is aimed at young, disadvantaged women, whether they're aboriginal, Metis, disabled or have another obstacle to overcome.
"We believe we will be successful in creating opportunities for young women, transform their lives," she said.
"It really is all about identity and self-esteem."
The program includes partnerships with the school district, Elizabeth Fry Society, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and others.
"We're trying to ensure our young people are the leaders of tomorrow. I feel with women in general there is such an imbalance of power," said Canada.
"We're going to get some powerful women around here."
Young men don't appear to have the same problems with self-confidence, but some have issues around addiction, she added.
McLeod's second announcement was a $47,000 youth employment program that supports young men and women getting back into the workforce.
That program, through Skills Link with Human Resource and Skills Development Canada, helps the youths with such areas as conflict resolution and effective communication. They will also get job placements with local employers.