Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Rainbow: a spectrum; all the colours in the universe. Coalition: a group of people joined together for a common purpose. When you put these two words together, I can't think of a more fitting name for the amazing non-profit organization I want to highlight today, the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife. The Rainbow Coalition is an outreach organization based in Yellowknife, dedicated to creating a safer space in the Northwest Territories for 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ youth, which stands for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-plus, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, asexual, and agender persons, and also includes non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, and demisexual.
2SLGBTQQIPAA+ students experience more mental health issues, a higher risk of suicide, and higher drop-out rates than hetero-cis-gender students. The coalition's mission is to raise awareness about issues and identities; to help these youth build confidence; to support their parents and families in accepting, understanding, and loving them; to provide advice and support to community agencies and organizations about relevant issues; to advocate for a safer and more equitable territory for these youth; and, in addition to all of this hard work, they operate a youth centre in Yellowknife.
The coalition offers programming and training for all people. However, they do have a particular focus on youth. Programming includes topics such as health concerns, examining and processing experiences, sexual health, and self-identity. All programming is offered free of charge, and the Rainbow Coalition has an event calendar full of activities. In the way of community resources, they offer workshops and training in inclusive workspaces and 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ awareness. At the Rainbow Youth Centre, programming offered includes literature and peer-support appointments as well as mentorship, art, and networking opportunities.
In March of 2017 the coalition held the first NWT Rainbow Youth Conference, and feedback from the proceedings led to the development of guidelines. This resulted in inclusive dress codes, literature on how to support a student-led gay-straight alliance, and a safe social space for kids to gather and discuss relevant issues for them. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Thank you.
---Unanimous consent granted