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Film stars Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds support Indigenous women's program

Last Updated Jun 29, 2020 at 2:24 pm EDT

Actor Ryan Reynolds, left, is joined by his wife, actress Blake Lively at the premiere of "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" at Military Island in Times Square on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in New York. Movie stars Reynolds and Lively are donating $200,000 to an institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia to help promote Indigenous women's leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Movie stars Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are donating $200,000 to an institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia to help promote Indigenous women’s leadership.

A release says the donation by the Hollywood couple is to kick-start the Coady Institute’s goal of raising $1 million for its International Centre for Women’s Leadership.

Reynolds is a Canadian actor who has starred in films such as “Deadpool” and “Green Lantern,” while his spouse Blake Lively is an American film actor whose credits include “Green Lantern” and “A Simple Favor.”

Karri-Lynn Paul, a lead of the Coady Indigenous program and one of its graduates, says an initial group of mentors and graduates from the past 10 years is beginning to examine the ways to further develop the program at the institute in Antigonish.

The institute is aiming to expand its offerings of leadership programs across the country for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit women leaders.

One goal is to offer more programs both in Indigenous communities and on campus.

Eileen Alma, director of Coady’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership, says the actors’ commitment to learning more about Indigenous issues has been energizing to the Coady Institute.

“They have added a tremendous boost to our effort to amplify Indigenous women’s voices locally and globally,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press