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Griller Quartet and William Primrose - Mozart - Griller - String Quintets K.516 K.593 K.546

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Federal funding is going to a project designed to help Metis women in Manitoba enter, re-enter, or remain in the workforce.

Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid and Winnipeg Centre MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette today announced $283,800 in funding for the Infinity Women Secretariat's Prosperity through Innovation project.

The 36-month project is meant to increase access to employment programs and services, and reduce barriers to economic security for Metis women.

"Through the development of individualized pathways to prosperity, Metis women in Manitoba will see increased accessibility to and coordination of relevant programs and services, such as child care. In addition, a network of stakeholders, employers, and Metis women in business will collaborate through targeted outreach for job matching, learning, and skills building sessions with participating women," said Duguid during today's press conference at the Manitoba Metis Federation.

According to Anita Campbell, spokesperson for IWS, the intent of the project is to be more holistic than an employment program.

"It's not a program where we're going to just link them with businesses or go and do an interview or go and, you know, 'here's a job opening, go apply for it.' It's more, we're going to bring 10-15 women together in a cohort, and then we're going to work with them, through their life and career path, and develop life plans with them, in terms of how do they achieve that ultimate goal that they want to get to," said Campbell in an interview after the press conference.

The project is one of 15 receiving federal funding through a call for proposals launched last fall titled Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women.

"We know that when we invest in women, particularly, we strengthen the economy for everyone," said Duguid in an interview. "This was just a great project helping Metis women transition back into the workforce through various supports, from child care to skills training."

IWS will be partnering with the MMF - Metis Employment and Training and the Louis Riel Institute in this project. Campbell said they're also looking at partnering with Louis Riel Capital Corporation at some point.

According to Campbell, the program will start in Winnipeg, then they're looking at the Dauphin area, and then Thompson.

Infinity Women Secretariat is an affiliate of the Manitoba Metis Federation. It was incorporated in 2013 to promote, empower and enhance the social, cultural and economic well-being of M├ętis women in Manitoba.