The "Gift of Indigenous Perspectives (G.I.P.) initiative is a host of programs that acknowledge the ongoing impact of Anti-Indigenous racism - while keeping the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind. It acknowledges that the Indigenous community faces a plethora of limitations and obstacles that hinder educational success and in turn, career success and advancement if not correctly and consciously addressed. Discriminatory federal laws such as the Indian Act and the residential school system demonstrate the systemic nature of anti-Indigenous racism. It is also reflected in Indigenous peoples' disproportionate representation in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems, as well as inequitable educational, well-being, and health outcomes. Individual lived experiences of anti-Indigenous racism can be evident in the growth in anti-Indigenous acts of hostility and violence. Canada may appear to have foundations that are built on diversity and inclusivity, but the fact is that Anti-Indigenous Racism is entrenched into the very systems and spaces that members of the Indigenous community try to occupy. By acknowledging and addressing the restrictions and difficulties that Indigenous communities face, we can build a stronger and more equitable Canada. The key to achieving success is by making sure any programming made available truly supports the diverse needs of Indigenous youth in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton (GTHA).
We are primarily concerned with providing these services to Indigenous youth between the ages of 15 and 29 who are interested in pursuing a career in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).
TCM Foundation is committed to creating job opportunities and developing the skills necessary for young people to launch their careers, but more can be done. New targeted economic-focused programming that assists Indigenous Ontarians in overcoming barriers and participating equitably in a future-oriented economy.
We pride ourselves on building our programs with a culturally-responsive framework in mind. In terms of what is offered, the G.I.P. Initiative offers a variety of complementary and integrated services such as Networking/Career Support, K-12 tutoring, Employment Assistance, and Mentorship that take into account the cultural characteristics, lived experiences, and perspectives that the youth bring to the spaces that we curate for them. These programs reflect our mission, which is to equip Indigenous youth with the tools necessary to not only enter, but also retain a seat at the table in STEAM professions and careers in hopes that our efforts will positively impact the Indigenous community's future.
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