A Brief History of UNYA
UNYA is a registered not-for-profit society with the Province of BC and a federally registered charitable organization. UNYA was formed in 1988 to address Native youth issues when growing numbers of young people began leaving reserves for the city. Many continue to arrive in Vancouver with few job skills, minimal training or education, and little or no knowledge of where to go for help. Today, approximately 60% of the Native population lives in urban settings, and 60% of the overall Native population is under the age of 25.
As of 2013, we have over twenty programs, over one 165 volunteers, almost 100 full and part-time staff, and 265 community partners. Our annual operating budget is approximately $4.3 million.
We continue to focus much of our efforts on community development initiatives, as we believe that the strengthening of our community as a whole can have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of Native youth. We have tried to contribute to the positive development of our community by creating our Full Circle and Helping Hands manuals, hosting community meetings and forums, offering training on youth issues, serving on community steering committees, conducting research, developing innovative programs, hiring and training youth, participating on the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC), and creating partnerships that expand services for Native youth.