Increasing Aboriginal youth access to recreation/sport training and employment

Youth have many skills and perspectives that enhance the field of sport and recreation, and employers greatly benefit from increasing the diversity of their staff to reflect the communities they serve. Yet many barriers, including transportation, financial constraints, family responsibilities, and lack of employment bridging programs contribute to a lack of Aboriginal role models in sport and recreation.

Bringing together employers, Edmonton Public and Catholic schools, local sport organizations, skill development programs, and Edmonton Aboriginal youth, we work to reduce barriers to employment and volunteer opportunities in recreation and sport. This work is three-fold:

  • Creating opportunities for youth to access training, certifications, and skill development
  • Developing clear pathways for employers to meet, mentor, and hire Aboriginal youth
  • Promoting peer-to-peer mentorship, allowing youth to share their wisdom and learnings with other young people, while they themselves are mentored by coaches, Elders, and role models.

Diverse Voices, New Ideas

A social innovation lab was held with Edmonton employers working in the fields of sport,  recreation, and active living to create new ideas, partnerships, and pathways to provide skill development and employment for Aboriginal youth. The day kicked off with a presentation from The Centre for Race and Culture, discussing how to manage stigma and bias in our organizations and facilities, particularly in hiring practices. The afternoon explored new ideas based on challenges youth face, identifying existing programs and services, and brainstorming potential new pathways. The process was well documented and key lessons were shared - if you are interested in undertaking a similar process in your community, contact us to learn more about our process and potential partnership opportunities.

Increasing Capacity of Youth to Work in the Recreation Field

Through this initiative, we are also hosting peer mentoring and cultural events in Edmonton, as well as certification and training days for the youth. If you or your team would like to take part, please contact Katelynn at katelynn@everactive.org.

1) High Five: Principles of Healthy Childhood Development (PHCD) and Back Pocket Games

In PHCD Front-line leaders will understand what they need to do to ensure each child’s social, emotional and cognitive needs are met. Leaders learn activities and gain knowledge, tips and resources to enhance their programs as well as their relationships with children and other staff members. Participants receive resources related to healthy child development including the Principles of Healthy Child Development Workbook and related handouts. Alberta Recreation and Parks Association together with Aboriginal leaders across Alberta have enhanced this course with an aboriginal focus. Learn more here.

In Back Pocket Games youth will walk away with a bank of games and activities they can pull out of their back pocket when working with youth in mentor settings.

Dated TBD

2) Spring Break Camp for Edmonton Public High School Students March 24-April1st


Funding Acknowledgment

The UP program is one of two available funding streams made possible by the new Urban Aboriginal strategy through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Funding for UP is distributed by the national Association of Friendship Centres and administered by Regional Provincial/Territorial Associations to meet the needs of urban indigenous peoples across the country.