Hockey Cares facilitated a successful exchange with Attawapiskat First Nation this month in Oakville. The kids participated in a hockey tournament and skills and drills training with Olympic Gold-Medalist Sami-Jo Small, attended fireworks, bowling, movie theatre visits and lots more while sharing the same interest and love for the game of hockey. The youth got a special surprise during their final game – Hockey Night Canada’s Ron McLean visited and helped to referee! Thank you to our dedicated volunteers and sponsors for making this a memorable experience for all the players. We look forward to the next exchange in November taking place in Attawapiskat First Nation.
True North Aid celebrated hardworking, talented young people of the Indigenous Youth Opportunities program lead by Carolina Budiman, Daryl Kootenay and Tosh Kootenay at the beautiful McMichael Canadian Art Collection north of Toronto on June 21st, 2022. Four of the seven youth were present with their families, friends, and program leads to participate in ceremony, receive a warm welcome from the McMichael staff including an address from the gallery’s Board Chair, Andy Pringle, and True North Aid’s National Director, Ken Smid. Each youth spoke about their entrepreneurial journey as they were given their IYOP certificate. Invited drummers and jingle dancers set the event’s tone and their presence inspired, impacted and uplifted the graduates. It has been True North Aid’s honour to invest in these young people and we wish IYOP’s first graduates great success in the years ahead!
The Enhancement for Prenatal Doula Program in Misipawistik Cree Nation gives expecting and postpartum mothers the necessary support to thrive within their community. They also help to provide essentials for both the mother and baby, such as maxi pads, hair care products, breast pumps, Enfamil milk, diapers, bottles, blankets, and much more. This program recently facilitated a Summer Camp in late June for families to register and participate in workshops, which included dreamcatcher, fleece blankets, and wooden sign making. With these initiatives, the Doula Program aims to foster kinship, life skills, and revitalized birthing knowledge and cultural traditions. The Doula Program will continue to provide essential items for mother and baby and hold more workshops in the upcoming months.
The idea of the #WeSeeYou Trip came from the life experience of Dwight Ballantyne, the founder of The Ballantyne Project. Dwight grew up in a northern First Nation, Montreal Lake Cree Nation, in Saskatchewan for 21 years until moving to BC in 2019. Upon reflection, he believes that hockey played a key role in building the belief that he could and wanted to pursue a life that was bigger than the possibilities that existed in his small community.
On May 24th, 2022, nine youth from Fort Chipewyan in remote Alberta arrived in Vancouver to partake in the #WeSeeYouTrip. The youth were able to explore the many sites around Vancouver including universities, Aquarium rock-climbing, laser tag, boat and bus rides and so much more.
The goal of this trip was to offer a life experience for youth from a remote and/or northern Indigenous community by inviting them to Vancouver, BC. It was the hope that this adventure would allow them to try new things, see different cultures, and possibly instill the belief that they too could pursue goals that they did not even know existed.
True North Aid has received requests for warm winter clothing for children living in 30 communities across the country. Each warm clothing set comes with a snowsuit and pants, neck warmer, mitts, a hat and boots. Each set costs $80. If you’d like to help, please donate to our Supplies for Success fund.
Our Back to School program will support 15 remote and northern communities with new school supplies and backpacks for this upcoming school year. Each school supply set has all the essential needs to start the new year right!
For $80 a backpack you can support youth in remote and northern communities.
More mattresses are on their way as part of phase two of “A Good Night’s Sleep” program. 12 communities across the country will be receiving new beds, like the ones pictured here in Sapotwayek Cree Nation in Manitoba!