Paulie Chinna: Municipal and Community Affairs Youth Initiatives

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — June 1, 2021

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Mr. Speaker, the youth of today are the strong, future leaders of tomorrow. Through initiatives like the NWT Youth Ambassador program, youth are provided opportunities to develop life and job skills, while building the confidence to deal with complex challenges.
I am pleased to inform the house today that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 NWT Youth Ambassador Program – Virtual Edition for youth aged 16 to 22.

The NWT Youth Ambassador Program is being offered virtually for the first time to fill the gap that the cancellation of major games events has created.

By offering the NWT Youth Ambassador Program virtually, MACA is hoping to reach a broader group of youth and still provide valuable learning experiences while being safe and eliminating travel.

Mr. Speaker, elements of the program include online learning modules the focus on leadership and life skills. These modules include: Goal Setting; Healthy Eating and Nutrition; Resume Building with the NWT Career Centres; Learning Leadership Skills with Rec North; and Getting to Know Your Community with Rec North.  In addition the program includes facilitated volunteer projects within each participant’s home community, and the program is open to youth from all communities.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs also has additional programs that can assist with youth initiatives whether they are led by youth or youth supporting organizations.

I would like to highlight a few Youth Corp Projects MACA is supporting this summer.  Organizations in the Dehcho, Sahtu, North Slave and South Slave will be participating in wilderness canoe trips designed for youth to explore and develop leadership skills in a safe environment. These trips are following the successful pilot project in the Dehcho, where it provided youth with a strong foundation in wilderness and canoeing safety & skills for on-the-land trips.

FOXY/SMASH are a needed and supported staple for youth programming across the Territory. Their Peer Leader Retreats use visual arts, traditional beading, traditional ceremonies, photography, digital storytelling, Northern games, and performing arts to educate and facilitate discussion about sexual and mental health, healthy relationships, and positive choices through a harm reduction and trauma-informed lens.

Northern Youth Leadership works to empower and inspire a generation of courageous leaders. Their camps have many positive outcomes including: inspiring confidence, supporting youth to engage in positive risk-taking, cultivating independence, building emotional resilience, developing leadership skills, promoting environmental stewardship, and instilling healthy relationship and lifestyle behaviors. They are currently accepting applications for their summer camps.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage youth and youth organizations to reach out to any Municipal and Community Affairs Office for more information on the opportunities available. Together we can lift youth up and create opportunities for our future leaders.
Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.