September 16, 2021

Sun Life pledges $400,000 to health programming for Indigenous children and youth

 Funding supports Spirit North to help improve physical and mental health through sport and play   

Sun Life Logo (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)

TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2021 /CNW/ - To support health programming for Indigenous children and youth, Sun Life is pleased to announce a $400,000 donation to Spirit North. Through sport and play, Spirit North works to empower children and youth. Their goal is to improve physical and mental health, while building resilience and leadership skills. Over two years, Sun Life's support will enable Spirit North to expand their programs to seven new communities across Canada, benefitting 7,000 Indigenous children and youth.

This donation aligns to Sun Life's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitments and Purpose of helping Canadians live healthier lives. By supporting organizations like Spirit North, Sun Life aims to remove barriers children and youth in Indigenous communities continue to face. This includes access to health and wellness resources, helping to create a more inclusive and equitable Canada.

"The pandemic has reinforced the importance of physical and mental health. It has also heightened the inequity of services and supports for communities across Canada. We must help those who face barriers to health services or are at risk of chronic illness," said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. "This partnership will help Indigenous children and youth get outside, get active and connect with other kids. Spirit North programming not only helps to instill healthy habits but empowers children with skills that will help them achieve their long-term goals."

Spirit North is a national charitable organization founded by Olympic champion Beckie Scott. They work in partnership with schools and communities to help Indigenous children and youth develop leadership skills, build resiliency and overcome barriers to health and wellness. Working together with over 60 communities, they run sport and activity programs across the country. Their community-based model reduces barriers to participation, such as geographic isolation and socio-economic limitations. It also incorporates cultural traditions, values and beliefs to create relevant programs for each community setting.

"We are overjoyed to be receiving this donation from Sun Life, knowing the impact it will make on our ability to reach more Indigenous children and youth. Engaging them with meaningful health and wellness activities is more important than ever," said Beckie Scott, Founder and CEO of Spirit North. "Sun Life's support will truly make a difference in the lives of hundreds of kids. The transformative power of sport and play would not be possible without the generous help of community partners."

To learn more about how Sun Life is making a difference in the community, read their 2020 Sustainability Report.

Sun Life in the community
Sun Life is committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life. Community wellness is an important part of its sustainability commitment. By actively supporting the communities in which Sun Life lives and works, the organization can help build a positive environment for Clients, employees, advisors and shareholders. Its philanthropic support focuses on health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, and care initiatives. Mental health is also a key priority, with support for programs and organizations with an emphasis on building resilience and coping skills.

Sun Life also partners with sports properties in key markets to further its commitment to healthy and active living. Its employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering close to 12,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.

Learn more about Sun Life in the community.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:
Meredith Mundick
Manager, Corporate Communications
T. 416.979.4048 

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada