Grand Challenges Canada, whose innovation platform hosts the Indigenous Innovation Initiative, and the McConnell Foundation, a champion in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, applaud the Government of Canada for its continued leadership in supporting women empowerment and innovation.
VANCOUVER, June 2, 2019 – Grand Challenges Canada and the McConnell Foundation are delighted to support the partnership between the Government of Canada and the Indigenous Innovation Initiative to launch a transformative Indigenous innovation platform, which was announced today by the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality.
Created by Indigenous leaders, the Indigenous Innovation Initiative is an innovation platform that seeks to enable Indigenous innovators to identify and solve their own challenges, transform lives in their communities, and drive growth that works for all Canadians. The Indigenous Innovation Initiative is hosted by Grand Challenges Canada with support from the McConnell Foundation and Johnson & Johnson.
“Grand Challenges Canada is thrilled to lend its platform’s resources and expertise to support Indigenous women innovators and help them address challenges faced in their communities,” said Karlee Silver, Co-CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. “By unlocking the innovation potential of Indigenous women and connecting them with partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, we truly believe that this initiative can make a meaningful and lasting difference across Canada. We thank the Government of Canada for partnering with us on this ground-breaking initiative.”
“As an anchor funder of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative, the McConnell Foundation is proud to celebrate the partnership announced today with the Government of Canada to build an Indigenous innovation platform by and for Indigenous women,” added Stephen Huddart, President and CEO of the McConnell Foundation. “We look forward to working with this partnership to mobilize resources from across sectors and across Canada to ensure that Indigenous women leaders have the support they need to realize their transformative vision for their communities.”
Built on a foundation of Indigenous ways of knowing and being, the Indigenous Innovation Initiative is deeply rooted in Indigenous values. The Indigenous Innovation Council, which is composed of Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs, will provide guidance, leadership, and insight on all aspects of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative’s work.
“Indigenous women are transformative leaders in their communities. Combining their deep knowledge of local challenges with innovative solutions and a profound desire to transform their communities, we are looking forward to working with Indigenous women to address some of the most pressing and complex challenges they face,” said Jeffrey Cyr, Chair of the Indigenous Innovation Council.
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About the Indigenous Innovation Initiative
Created by Indigenous leaders, the Indigenous Innovation Initiative is an innovation platform that seeks to enable Indigenous innovators to identify and solve their own challenges, transform lives in their communities, and drive growth that works for all Canadians through social innovation.
About Grand Challenges Canada
One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, Grand Challenges Canada has funded over 1,100 innovations championed by innovators in more than 95 countries since 2011. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.6 million lives and improve up to 35 million lives by 2030.
About the McConnell Foundation
The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges.