In April 2018, Saskatoon submitted an initial proposal and was selected as one of the finalists for a chance to win $10 million (category: communities with populations under 500,000) to be used for implementing all aspects of a proposed plan.
Saskatoon’s final proposal, ConnectYXE, brings together innovative technology and partnerships to break the cycle of Indigenous youth incarceration by creating a new cycle focused on building purpose, belonging, security and identity.
For eight months the City worked closely on building the proposal with the project’s Indigenous Youth Advisory Group, community-based organizations (CBOs), institutional partner organizations and the technology community.
ConnectYXE is based on three pillars:
Empowerment of Indigenous youth and their families: providing real time information and options for how to access services throughout the city, every day, all day.
Collaboration among partners: creating a repository of data of all relevant programs and services available throughout Saskatoon.
Harnessing innovative technology: connecting systems, sharing data and leveraging artificial intelligence. The collective data in ConnectYXE will provide a city-wide picture of what is available and the demands on those supports at any time. This enables CBOs, institutional partners, and decision-makers to regularly analyze and to identify gaps, trends, and better ways to respond.
A whole-of-community approach, with youth at the centre, is needed to address the complex challenges that urban Indigenous youth face. These challenges are rooted in historical injustices, intergenerational trauma and racism. To learn more about the proposal, watch the ConnectYXE video.
The final proposal was submitted on March 5, 2019. The four winners of the Canadian Smart Cities Challenge were announced on May 14, 2019 in Ottawa and Saskatoon wishes to congratulate all of the winning communities!
The City wishes to thank the Indigenous Youth Advisory Group, community allies and institutional partners for their commitment and support of this project. Institutional partners include: Central Urban Métis Federation, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon Health Authority, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon Public School Division, Saskatoon Tribal Council, United Way of Saskatoon and area, and the University of Saskatchewan.