by John Copley
(ANNews) – There’s an exciting inner-city youth conference taking place next month and it may be the one you just don’t want to miss. The one-day event is being hosted by Centre High Campus’ Indigenous Student Leadership Group in partnership with leadership students at Inner City High.
A recent post to the makesomethingedmonton.ca website by Edmonton Inner City High School social studies teacher Dan Scratch, an educator who “works with at-promise youth in Edmonton,” is promoting what is expected to be an exciting and outstanding educational opportunity for Edmonton’s downtown and inner city youth. The event he’s promoting is a one-day long Indigenous Youth Leadership Conference that will take place at the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society on Wednesday, May 11.
Participants will have the opportunity to mix and mingle and network and listen to the words of the numerous well known and highly sought after guest speakers who will address the forum. The amazing lineup of speakers will include writer, author, and prominent Canadian Aboriginal artist, Aaron Paquette; Dwayne Donald, descendent of the Papaschase Cree and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta; Charlene Bearhead, founder of Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School in Alberta and Education Lead at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba; Dr. Sean Lessard, the recipient of the 2015 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research and an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Education and Core Studies at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education and others.
“This will be an all-day youth-led event where we are hoping to promote leadership, community involvement, development of new skills, and reconciliation to the inner city youth of Edmonton,” explained Centre High Campus First Nations, Metis, Inuit Liaison Naim Cardinal.
“We have invited Amiskwaciy Academy, Boyle Street Education Centre, Centre High, iHuman Youth Society, and Inner City High to participate in our event. We are reaching out to the larger community in the hope that we can raise enough funds for the programming and logistics of the conference such as meals, honorariums, conference materials, t-shirts, etc. If you’re looking to support youth in our city and assist in the process of creating a strong sense of community then please consider supporting this conference and the youth who will be attending.
“Our Indigenous Student Leadership group, who are the main organizers of this first-ever event, will also host a workshop of their own; they will be conducting the Blanket Exercise for all in attendance. By organizing and participating in meaningful ways, our leadership group will learn and experience new ideas, something that will bode well for them as they entertain new endeavours.”
The website notes that “youth in Edmonton’s downtown and inner city neighborhoods are some of the most inspiring, intelligent and resilient people in our city. It is our hope to bring youth leaders from Centre High, Inner City High School, Boyle Street Education Centre, Amiskwaciy Academy and other youth organizations and schools together to partake in a day of learning that focuses on Indigenous leadership, community building and empowering youth to create positive change. There will be opportunities for youth to engage in and lead workshops with each other and most importantly we hope to build a stronger sense of community and leadership for the youth that attend.”