Government renews investment in diabetes awareness and prevention among Indigenous youth

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Diabetes News
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Right To Play – Play for Prevention uses play to help achieve healthier lifestyles

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2016 /CNW/

- An active lifestyle for our youth helps to minimize preventable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. That is why the Government of Canada continues to promote healthy living and invest in today's youth, including Indigenous
youth, to help foster healthy habits for years to come.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada is renewing its support for the Right To Play – Play for Prevention project with a five-year, $1,531,000 investment to enable its expansion into Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. The organization is currently headquartered in Toronto.

Right To Play is a global organization committed to improving the lives of children and young people affected by conflict, disease and poverty. In Canada, Right To Play's Play for Prevention program uses play to promote education about diabetes prevention among Indigenous youth, foster leadership skills and encourage communities to develop and maintain their own physical activity and play programs. The expansion of the program to other provinces will allow the program to reach an additional 1,000 Indigenous children and youth per year, for a total of 3,500 children over five years. Play for Prevention will improve how it measures behavioural change while following a culturally relevant and inclusive approach to evaluation.

Right To Play – Play for Prevention is delivered in partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Microsoft, The Tim Horton Children's Foundation, Sun Life Financial, Suncor and other organizations.

The partnership was announced as part of the vision for a healthy Canada, which takes a holistic approach to health, focusing on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.

Quick Facts

  • Right To Play aims to change the lives of children through play. With programs in more than 20 countries, it reaches one million children each week, providing opportunities for children and young people to learn skills to overcome adversity, keep themselves safe and healthy, and build stronger relationships.
  • Over the past five years, Right To Play in Canada has focused its efforts on Indigenous youth, partnering directly with First Nations and urban Indigenous organizations to deliver play- and sports-based programming in 87 communities across the country, reaching more than 3,000 youth in regular weekly programming.
  • Federal funding for the Right To Play – Play for Prevention project is provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease program, which invests $20 million annually to work with partners to address the common risk factors that underlie major chronic diseases, including unhealthy weights, physical inactivity and tobacco use.


"The Government of Canada is pleased to work with partners in both the private and not-for-profit sectors and Indigenous communities to increase awareness among youth about how physical activity and play can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes."

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.Minister of Health

"Right To Play is proud to collaborate with the Government of Canada and Indigenous organizations to build leadership and knowledge among young people, enabling them to promote diabetes awareness within their communities and to lead healthy and productive lives."

Kevin FreyCEO, Right To Play

"Right To Play has been a key resource for First Nations communities across Canada by encouraging the power of play and sport. We are proud to support this important and innovative program which promotes physical and mental health while ensuring Indigenous youth develop a secure personal and cultural identity."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.P.,Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"The positive impacts the Right To Play program has provided to the Indigenous Youth of our community have surpassed all expectations. Cultural teachings integrated with lessons on sport, nutrition and diabetes prevention will ensure a healthier and brighter tomorrow."Jennifer Thomas, Executive DirectorNishnawbe Gamik Friendship CentreSioux Lookout, ON

Associated LinksDiabetes prevention among urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth Vision for a healthy Canada


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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