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Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI)

About CUAI

Note: In July 2015, CUAI announced that due to a lack of operational funding beyond 2016, the organization would be ceasing operations as of December 31, 2015. 

The Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI) grew out of Removing Barriers: A Listening Circle, a multi-phase, qualitative, community-based research initiative that took place in Calgary in 1999. Removing Barriers: A Listening Circle engaged Aboriginal Calgarians in identifying barriers to service and systems access in Calgary, and, together with other stakeholders, vision solutions and recommendations.

CUAI was a partnership initiative that aimed to support and enhance work across and between eight Domain groups by engaging broad bases of stakeholders in order to affect real and sustainable advances for urban Aboriginal people in Calgary.

The organization’s eight Domain groups are:

  • Education
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Human Rights
  • Funding
  • Justice
  • Health
  • Services

CUAI was not a service delivery agency, a government department, a funding body, or a not-for-profit. CUAI was a true collaborative, and its potential is a function of the degree to which it engages community members, stakeholders and government around common goals.

The Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative (CUAI) was a continuation of the work that was initiated with Removing Barriers: A Listening Circle. With a focus on bringing stakeholders, community and agencies together with all levels of government, CUAI had a mandate to facilitate Domain-specific forums in order to develop concrete, actionable and practical solutions to issues facing Aboriginal Calgarians.
In December 2015, the CUAI bundle was transferred to the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness (ASCHH) to hold in trust via a transfer ceremony. This informational bundle holds the history of CUAI and community mandates. The former CUAI Domains remain connected to this bundle and the ASCHH as the bundle holder. Further discussions and planning on the bundle and Domains with be hosted over the 2016 year with partners.