Leadership and Youth Empowerment

This week, our team members were invited to Niagara-on-the-Lake to witness first-had the impact of Northern Edge Algonquin programming on youth leadership and empowerment.

For the past two years a group of First Nations students from Niagara region have been coming to the Edge for their Indigenous Leadership Summit.

“This was a really great day, good to see the students who had been at the Edge and to see them confident and comfortable helping their peers. We also met some of the other teachers and support staff involved in working with the students, as well as the Superintendent responsible for providing financial and logistical support for the students to visit us.”

Approximately 30 students attended the Student Voice Indigenous Leadership Symposium organized by the grade 7/8 & high school mentors who were at the Edge (17 students).  The event was held at WoodEnd Conservation Area outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake, newly built building to be used by the District of School Board of Niagara.  It is a pretty impressive outdoor classroom.

Workshops Included:

  • Opening Circle and keynote speaker – “Urban Indigenous Ways of Knowing” – Eddy Robinson
  • Metis Encampment Workshop
  • Haudensaunee Language Teachings
  • Creating a Dream Catcher
  • Drum Dance & Story Telling
  • Food was catered by Nish Dish (Toronto company specializing in aboriginal foods) – Elk sausage, potato salad (sweet potato combo) for lunch
  • Throughout the day students who had been to the Edge introduced each event and told their personal story of what it meant to be a part of the Leadership Conference at the Edge and the confidence they now have in speaking about their indigenous heritage after participating in the program.

We were grateful to be able to witness the level of empowerment and leadership displayed by the youth who have attended the Leadership Summits at the Edge.

“It was totally inspiring.”

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