While she might not have shouted “show me the money!” Georgina Alexis did a happy dance when she got the news.
Tl’azt’en Nation has been chosen as one of only 10 groups awarded grant funding through the TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund which awarded $700,000 to ten different organizations for projects to support financial education.
Alexis is the post secondary coordinator for the Tl’azt’en Nation, and wrote the grant application with the College of New Caledonia (CNC).
Tl’azt’en was one of 10 groups across Canada, and the only one in B.C. to receive the funding, and will be awarded $99,300.
The funding will allow Tl’azt’en to work with the other First Nations within the region to develop an adaptable curriculum for financial literacy education.
The grant was written in January and was only just awarded in May, and Alexis was very pleased.
“It was awesome,” she said.
The goal of the project is to “create a First Nations financial literacy curriculum that embeds traditional and cultural financial relevance in a format that is easily understood by all learning levels and ages.”
Over 12 months, the project will establish an advisory group of the seven First Nations within the region, hire a research coordinator to work with the advisory group and assess the needs and develop a curriculum in a preferred learning style, then vet the curriculum to the advisory group and then pilot the curriculum out locally and finally evaluate the curriculum.
Once developed, Alexis said the group hopes to share the curriculum with other groups and First Nations everywhere.
Alexis said her office saw the need for financial literacy first hand, with some people in the community not sure how to budget properly or open a bank account.
She also called the skills they hope to provide “vital” for the youth now entering the work force, hopefully giving them skills they can then pass down to future generations.
There were 170 non-profit or charitable applicants hoping for the funding, which was seen as important after the recent economic downturn showed how many Canadians now owe more money than ever.