News Release Article from  Canadian Heritage

The 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017 Celebrates Our Shared History

Honouring the heritage of Indigenous peoples

May 24, 2016 – Vancouver – Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, alongside the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, today reiterated the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. She also announced funding for three Pan-Canadian Signature projects.

According to Minister Joly, the 150th anniversary of Confederation gives the Government of Canada an opportunity to engage and inspire Canadians in their communities. It is also a time to come together to celebrate our shared values, our achievements, our majestic environment and our place in the world.

The vision seeks to bring people together and inspire them. It will feature themes focusing on diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, youth and the environment.

To make 2017 a memorable year of celebrations for all Canadians, Minister Joly today confirmed that the Government of Canada will continue to invest in Canada-wide, regional and local projects to increase Canadians’ awareness and invite them to participate in the many events taking place throughout the year.

Reconciliation Canada: An Exchange Forum on Reconciliation

Minister Joly, accompanied by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Ambassador for Reconciliation, took the opportunity to announce funding of $1.8 million to Reconciliation Canada for its project Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy.

These funds will be dedicated to carrying out a series of engagement activities focused on reconciliation. Reconciliation Canada will examine and document perceptions, actions and aspirations of Canadians in relation to reconciliation. A narrative will recognize our common history, highlight current achievements and create hope for the next 150 years.

Indspire: Dialogue and Intercultural Training

Minister Joly also announced a $200,000 contribution to Indspire for its project Cross Canada Speaking Tour of Exceptional Indigenous Youth. She was accompanied by Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO.

With this investment, Indspire will highlight exceptional accomplishments by Indigenous people, who will tell their stories to Canadians across the country. A Canadian tour will showcase the great diversity that exists in this country’s population.

The 4Rs Youth Movement: Telling the Story of Our Journey

Finally, Minister Joly announced a $398,000 contribution to the 4Rs Youth Movement: Possible Canadas. She was accompanied by Colette Trudeau, Director of Youth/ORAAP Program Director, Métis Nation British Columbia, and Noelani Avveduti, member of the 4Rs Steering Committee representing the Assembly of First Nations.

Approximately 5,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth will participate in the face-to-face dialogue that highlights the contributions of Indigenous peoples over the last 150 years. The 4Rs Youth Movement will host regional and national discussion gatherings from coast to coast in 2017, engaging young people in authentic relationship building that furthers reconciliation.

Quick Facts

Program for the 150th anniversary of Confederation

  • The main themes of the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation are diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the environment and youth.
  • The Canada 150 Fund was established in April 2015. It has an overall budget of $210 million.
  • Through the fund, the Government of Canada will continue to make strategic investments in activities that support the vision of the 150th anniversary and encourage Canadians to participate directly.
  • Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society is an Indigenous-led, national charitable organization that catalyzes meaningful relationships through values-based dialogue, leadership and action. Their vision is a vibrant, inclusive Canada where all people achieve their full potential and shared prosperity.
  • Indspire is a registered Indigenous charitable organization that invests in education for Indigenous peoples for long-term benefits to individuals, their families and their communities. Indspire gives financial awards and offers programs and resources to fill the Indigenous education gap.
  • The 4Rs Youth Movement, a partnership of 14 organizations, is administered and by YMCA Canada on behalf of the Young Leaders Steering Committee and National partners. Its mission is to improve the relationship between young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through their cross-cultural dialogue framework for reconciliation.


“The 150th anniversary of Confederation is an excellent opportunity to celebrate all that it means to be Canadian. Let’s be proud of our diversity; let’s reinforce the relationships that hold us together; and let’s highlight the richness of our common history and our heritage. Together, let’s support the reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Today’s announcement is a powerful demonstration of the importance of working together to build a better future for Canada. We are proud to support Reconciliation Canada as it engages Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in national initiatives across the country, celebrating successes and inspiring action on reconciliation. The 150th anniversary of Confederation celebrates our shared history as a nation. It is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the history and culture of First Nations, the Métis Nation and the Inuit people in order to further the vital work of reconciliation.‎”

—The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

“This announcement by the Government of Canada demonstrates shared values and the importance of working together to build a better future for Canada. Reconciliation Canada is deeply grateful for the support and is looking forward to engaging Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in national initiatives across the country, which celebrate successes and inspire action on reconciliation.”

—Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada

“Indspire wishes to thank the Government of Canada for this very generous award, which will allow us to showcase the remarkable achievements of our past Indspire Awards recipients, to other Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. Supporting the efforts towards reconciliation, projects such as this cross-Canada speaking tour can bring together communities to learn about what youth across the country are accomplishing. Thank you for this timely award, as we all proudly celebrate together, Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.”

—Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO, Indspire

“The 4Rs Youth Movement is excited to be recognized for our vision to inspire youth-led reconciliation, a model which we hope honours past and present healing work by Indigenous people and our allies. Thanks to the Canada 150 Fund, 4Rs will host youth gatherings over the coming year that reflect our values of respect, reciprocity, relevance and reconciliation, and in doing so will make meaningful progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action #66. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our 14 national partners, and for the young leaders whose hard work and love has brought 4Rs to life.”

—Jessica Bolduc, Executive Director, The 4Rs Youth Movement

Associated Links

Canada 150

Community Infrastructure Program

The Canada 150 logo and typeface

Reconciliation Canada


The 4Rs Youth Movement


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