The Cree Nation Youth Council (CNYC) is a progressive youth-led organization in Eeyou Istchee (James Bay Region, QC) whose vision is to ‘empower Cree Youth by directly integrating and involving them at the local and regional levels of government, politics and administration.’ The CNYC has been working on the development of a wilderness training centre over the past few years, which will serve as a world class training facility that links people, land and culture in both modern and traditional training methodologies and settings for human resource development. The Centre will provide a wide array of training programs that are flexible in addressing Cree community and regional employment. The Centre will provide training programs to meet the training needs that will qualify the new generation of Quebec Crees for employment in regional economic and community services.
We have been working with the CNYC on this initiative in a variety of capacities and the next task to undertake is a Best Practices Mission. Best Practices Missions allow participants to learn from organizations and businesses that are similar in nature, have remained sustainable over the years and have continued to grow. Through on-site visits, workshops, roundtables and meetings, the participants get a 'behind the scenes look' at how the organizations developed. This includes examining their development models, business models, programs, partnerships, marketing strategies and training programs, just to name a few.
The CNYC mission will take place in early April and will travel to Western Canada. Four participants from three different Eeyou Istchee communities will have the opportunity to travel to Calgary, Canmore, Jasper and Vancouver in four days! This is definitely no vacation!
The organizations we will be visiting were chosen collaboratively between the CNYC and CES and were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Aboriginal youth
- Outdoor skills & education
- Cultural skills
- Experiential programming
- Technical skills
- Life skills & teaching youth to become leaders
- A regional approach
- Long term sustainability - financial and environmental
We will be visiting:
- Ghost River Rediscovery
- Scouts Canada
- Outward Bound Canada
- Palisades Stewardship Education Centre
- North Vancouver Outdoor School
This Missions are intense with long days, but the amount of knowledge and advice gathered in just a few days is truly amazing. The participants will walk away from this trip feeling inspired, empowered and dedicated to ensuring this project becomes a reality!