Three years ago Dwight Ballantyne left his remote northern Saskatchewan reserve to pursue education and hockey in BC. Upon returning as part of Team Canada who won an International hockey tournament in Europe in March, he was inspired to launch a national campaign to bring hope, encouragement and the support necessary to others living on remote reserves through employment and education. As well, he is creating a video series to expose the truth about life on remote reserves, also including the perception of non-Indigenous Canadians to create awareness through a social media campaign.
The Ballantyne Project is a project of True North Aid, a national Canadian charity, through the Self-Determination Fund which is aimed at empowering indigenous youth in
remote reserves in Canada.
This project began with the personal story of Dwight Ballantyne, who was born and raised in Montreal Lake Cree Nation, a remote community located in northern Saskatchewan. Dwight faced many barriers while living in his community such as unemployment and isolation. At the His success since then has surpassed any expectations he may have had.
After completing a one-year College Preparation Program he developed and directed a Hockey Skills Leadership Program for Indigenous young men living on remote First Nations which led him to receive the BC Premiere’s Award for Youth Excellence in Sport in November 2018.
In March 2019 he represented Team Canada in an International hockey tournament in Europe and won the European World Cup.
Dwight understands the challenges that come from living on a remote First Nation and he has the focus and determination necessary to create change. He has made the decision to use his experience to bring hope and inspire others who would like to follow in his footsteps as well as bring awareness to Canadians about life in these remote communities.
The Ballantyne Project recently launched their campaign “WE SEE YOU” to help raise awareness to non-Indigenous Canadians about what life is really like living in remote Canadian communities while letting the youth know that they are seen and not forgotten.
As well, the Ballantyne team have developed the Ballantyne Entrepreneurship Program, a program that allows the team to travel up to these remote reserves and inspire and provide youth opportunities to strive and achieve endless possibilities that may never been available to them.
As the Ballantyne project we hope to help others like Dwight. The opportunity will be open to anyone who has something they would like to accomplish with regard to education, sports, or employment. We will work individually with each person to establish their goals and put a plan into place. This could include finding housing, transportation, administrative support to fill out or acquire necessary forms, and most importantly the emotional support necessary to continue down a new path.
Mission & Goals
- Raise awareness about life on reserve and in remote communities by completing social media campaigns and attending local events
- Bring hope to youth living in communities and helping to inspire them to take advantage of opportunities
- Travel to remote reserves to present the Ballantyne Entrepreneurship program
Want To Get Involved?