Good news has come for all potential Katimavictims.
The Canadian Ministry of Heritage announced Dec. 20 that it would fund another Katimavik after cutting funds to the youth volunteer program in July. The funding is guaranteed until fall 2008.
“That’s great,” said Toronto St. Paul’s MP Carolyn Bennett. “Their vision for Canada was inspiring, that everyone would understand the perspectives of those across the country.”
The decision has excited at least one University of Calgary faculty member. Social work dean Dr. Gayla Rogers sits on the Katimavik board that plans Katimavik’s future.
“There’s lots of opportunity to expand,” said Rogers. “There’s also a strategy in engaging northern youth in more service learning and what that might mean on their return to their own communities.”
Recruitment efforts will resume in January with the next group of 1,000 youth between the ages of 17 and 21 beginning the program later in the year. However, the funding announcement will not allow for more participants than in years past.
Since the funding cuts were first announced hundreds of Canadians wrote letters to the federal government asking them to reinstate program funding.
Nearly 25,000 youth have participated in Katimavik since its inception in 1977.