Cuso International and Indigenous partners focus on sustainable development in Canada



June 21, 2018

Cuso International and Indigenous partners focus on sustainable development in Canada

OTTAWA – On National Indigenous Peoples Day, Cuso International is thankful to partner with Indigenous organizations throughout Canada for equitable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development. No longer focused solely on developing nations, Cuso International recognizes its obligation to meet these goals in every country, including Canada.

Our partners include school boards in the Northwest Territories (NT), where the primary objective is to improve education outcomes for Indigenous children and youth in Northern Canada.

“Supporting positive education outcomes for Indigenous children in Canada is crucial to the alleviation of poverty and working towards reconciliation,” says Glenn Mifflin, CEO of Cuso International. “We currently have 12 volunteer Education Assistants working in nine schools and located in seven communities. Next year we’ll increase that number to 15 volunteers, 11 schools and nine communities.”

Cuso International also recognizes our volunteers are crucial to our success. Jana Kasparova has been supporting the eLearning classroom monitor program at Mangilaluk high school in Tuktoyaktuk, NT since 2016. Prior to the program, the school of 200 students saw an average of one-to-two students continuing their post-secondary education. In two years, that number has increased to four-to-five students. This means more graduates returning to their communities with new skill sets.

One of those students is Carmen Kuptana. She placed second in the photography category at this year’s Skills Canada Regional Territorial Skills Competition, a two-day event in Yellowknife and credits Jana with helping her take her photography to another level.

“I was always taking photos with my iPod as a little kid. It helped me to think about what was happening in life, and to show how I feel,” says Carmen, adding that thanks to Jana, “I learned what makes a good picture and how to edit.”

Carmen plans to continue her post-secondary education in Calgary. But before that, she wants to travel and document it all with her new skills built with the help of Jana and her Cuso International connections.


Our Indigenous partners deliver locally-driven services and programs that seek to redress power imbalances and eradicate poverty and inequality in their communities.
Indigenous control over Indigenous development can revitalize Indigenous institutions, cultures and traditions. This approach ensures development is sustainable, equitable, and environmentally sound.

As all our partnerships are based on mutual learning and growth, we continually seek to expand our own understanding of Indigenous issues and engage in decolonization as an organization.

Our Indigenous partners include:
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba: Together, we are developing a workshop to help with the important process of reconciliation.
School Boards in NT: The primary objective of this partnership is to improve education outcomes for Indigenous children and youth in Northern Canada.
First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia: We worked to identify and develop healthcare business opportunities on Reserve in 2016-17.
New Horizons for Seniors: We engaged seniors through the mentoring of others, promoting volunteerism among seniors and supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors in 2016-17.

“Cuso International would like to thank our Indigenous partners for allowing us to work with them and our volunteers for taking on these special assignments,” says CEO Glenn Mifflin.


Cuso International
Cuso International is a non-profit development organization that works to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of highly skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors. Established in 1961, Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States. Funds raised have enabled more than 15,000 volunteer placements around the world.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

Registered charitable numbers:
Canada: 81111 6813 RR0001
United States: EIN 30-0545486

Media Contacts
Eduardo Diazgranados, Canadian Program Advisor
613-829-7445 x 354 | 1-888-434-2876 x 354

Jessica Cunha, Communications Officer
613-829-7445 x 346 | 1-888-434-2876 x 346