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Building Leadership Skills for Indigenous Youth

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Building Leadership Skills for Indigenous Youth

Ontario Supporting Two Pilot Cultural Camps in Northern Communities

Ontario is helping deliver two cultural camps for Indigenous youth, which will promote awareness of traditional knowledge and languages while helping young people become leaders in their communities. 

This unique experience for youth will take place during winter festivals in Fort Albany First Nation from February 10th to 12th, and in Pikangikum First Nation from February 24th to 26th. The camps, which will engage about 100 youth in each, will offer cultural programming including storytelling, food gathering and preparing a traditional feast. The camps will also build leadership skills through hands-on activities like snowshoeing, traditional dancing and drumming.

Feedback from these pilots will help inform the design of future cultural camps across the province.

Supporting Indigenous youth is one of the many steps on Ontario's journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. As a part of Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, this initiative reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $200,000 in the two pilot youth cultural camps, which will be run by the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO).
  • ASWCO is also responsible for Aboriginal Team Ontario’s participation in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, which will be held in Ontario for the first time in July.
  • Supporting youth cultural camps in Indigenous communities is part of Ontario’s Culture Strategy.
  • Launched in July 2016, the Culture Strategy promotes participation in arts and culture, builds on the sector's economic impact and helps people in Ontario tell their stories and express themselves.

Additional Resources


“I’m thrilled to announce our government’s support for cultural camps that will help Indigenous youth increase their traditional knowledge and empower them to explore their heritage. This initiative is one of many that we are delivering through Ontario’s Culture Strategy, which aims to inspire the next generation and promote participation in arts and culture.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“I am excited to support an initiative that empowers young Indigenous people by helping them connect with their language and culture. Maintaining a strong connection to their Indigenous identity will give young people the confidence they need to be strong leaders within their community and the province.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“We are honoured to be conducting two youth cultural camps in Fort Albany and Pikangikum, with the generous support of the Ontario government. These camps are part of our far north strategy and demonstrate our commitment to the health and well-being of our northern youth.”

Marc Laliberté

President, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario

Media Contacts



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