Indigenous Rising Treaty 7 is an initiative developed by a group of youth in collaboration with Canada Bridges; a not-for-profit organization whose done extensive work with Indigenous communities in the treaty 7 area, most notably with the Siksika Nation and Iyarhe Nakoda First Nations. The initiative looks to provide youth ages 16 - 30 years with opportunities through leadership and empowerment, capacity building and building a community of young change leaders.
At the beginning of the year, Indigenous Rising Treaty 7 was led by Wacey Little Light, an outstanding young leader from the Siksika Nation who did a great job bringing together a group of youth from the Treaty 7 area. We started off the initiative with info sessions to get interest and started building a community of youth who were interested in staying involved. In May, we had a visioning exercise through a “Theory of Change” concept. What was highlighted in the exercise was that youth hoped for more connection especially during these difficult times whether it was online or in-person.
We have been having virtual hangouts every month as a basis to continue building connection and the community of young change leaders. Our first in person hangout was hiking in Banff over the summer which was a success with youth challenging themselves. We’ve also had a photo session as part of professional development. Since we’ve had in person hangouts, we’ve also had an increase in youth participation.
In October, we took a group out to Screamfest for a Halloween themed hangout which was very successful and very cool to see people connecting and reconnecting. The hangout was probably the biggest in participation, which was so great to see. And finally, and in the spirit of Christmas, we decided to bring the group together one last time to say thank you for the connections, the laughter, and the inspiration by attending the Calgary Zoo’s Annual Zoo lights.
As the year comes to an end with a new one on the horizon, Indigenous Rising Treaty 7 is an initiative with great hope and great potential building the community of young Indigenous change leaders. After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Thank you, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!