NWT-based youth group FOXY is set to receive some major financial backing from the federal government.
On Tuesday, Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod announced over $1.275 million in funding for the group over the next five years.
Also known as Fostering Open eXpression among Youth, the organization has used the arts to teach NWT youth about sexuality, sexual health and relationships since 2012.
The funding announced Tuesday comes as part of the government’s commitment to address the issue of family violence in the territory.
A press release stated that FOXY was chosen for supporting victims and strengthening the health of Northern and Indigenous youth experiencing teen dating violence in the NWT.
“[FOXY] talks about issues that are very concerning for us here in the North,” McLeod told Moose FM.
“We in the Northwest Territories experience higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, we have higher rates of teen pregnancy and we have higher rates of partner violence than the rest of the south.
“They are bringing a very good message forward and they also work with the youth to talk about these very real issues that the youth are facing.”
FOXY co-founder Candice Lys says the funding will allow the program to extend its reach.
“This funding will be used to help us become more trauma and violence informed,” Lys said. “We’re going to really focus our programming on supporting those who’ve experienced trauma and violence.”
Lys and fellow FOXY co-founder Nancy MacNeill both received Meritorious Service Medals for their work with the organization last week.