New Partnership Promotes Life-Skills For Aboriginal Youth
McGuinty Government Teams Up With Right To Play And Aboriginal Communities
A new partnership between the Government of Ontario and Right To Play will promote a healthy and active lifestyle for Aboriginal youth through sport and recreation.
Promoting Life-skills for Aboriginal Youth (P.L.A.Y.) is a pilot project being developed by Right To Play. The first community to benefit from the program will be Moose Cree First Nation.
The program uses sport and recreation to develop leadership skills and provide youth with opportunities that may not otherwise be available in their community. It is based on similar sport and play programs run by Right To Play.
Right To Play is a humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health and develop life skills for children and communities in 23 countries around the world.
- Moose Cree First Nation is a remote community of 2,700 people on the James Bay coast in northern Ontario. Moose Cree is a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
- Approximately 36 per cent of children on-reserve are considered obese.
- Participation in sports has a positive effect on socio-economic indicators (i.e. health and education), self-esteem and leadership development.
“Promoting Life-skills for Aboriginal Youth will help to improve individual health and well-being through a focus on sports and recreation. I'm thrilled to be working with Right To Play given how they've helped many communities around the world. We hope to welcome new partners to the P.L.A.Y. initiative as the program is developed.”
“P.L.A.Y. is an outstanding example of how government can work in partnership with the private sector and with the Aboriginal community to improve the living conditions of First Nations. It is my hope that P.L.A.Y. will instill the confidence, self-esteem and hope to a new generation of Aboriginal youth.”
“This is a ground breaking venture for Right To Play as it marks the first time our programming will be implemented in Canada. We are honoured to have Ontario's Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs' trust in our organization as we embark on working in concert with First Nations communities where we hope to improve the lives of children through the power of sport and play. Our experience throughout the world is that building life skills in youth is one of the best investments a community can make in improving the social conditions for the future. Sport, recreation and play-based activities inspire children and youth to become healthier, more confident and leaders in their own communities. We look forward to working with children and their communities in Ontario's north.”
Johann Olav Koss
“At the present time, we are looking for new and interesting ways to keep youth busy in NAN communities. This includes finding the means of promoting health and addressing youth suicide. P.L.A.Y. will do a lot to support First Nations communities, particularly our youth.”
Grand Chief Stan Beardy
“The McGuinty Government and Right to Play share a common goal - to help young people make good life choices and to encourage them to lead healthy, active lives. Playing sports and being active promotes teamwork, improves physical and mental health and enhances one's overall quality of life. P.L.A.Y. provides opportunities to engage young Aboriginals in healthy behaviours that will last a lifetime.”