Spirit North empowers Indigenous youth to be unstoppable in sport, school and life. Through the transformative power of sport and play, Spirit North helps youth find the courage to take on any challenge, develop leadership skills, improve their health and wellness, discover new talents and unlock their limitless potential.
The comprehensive approach that Spirit North takes focuses on three pillars – education, health and community – to improve the lives of children and youth and the prosperity of communities.
Collaborative partnerships are a key ingredient to building sustainable relationships. Committed to the practice of co-creation as a cornerstone of program development and delivery, Spirit North programs are designed and delivered in partnership with communities. The process results in programs that are shaped and informed by the needs, traditions and values of each individual community.
By connecting participants to the land with activity and skill development, Spirit North programs inspire the positive development of youth, and leave lasting meaningful impacts for families and communities.
In 2020, Spirit North delivered programs to over 6,300 Indigenous youth in 62 communities and 77 schools across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Northwest Territories – and they’re just getting started.
MEC is proud to supply Spirit North with gear and funding for their sport for development programs and support the organization in their goal to reach 10,000 youth by 2023.
“The program gave the children a sense of belonging and confidence, and they got to feel what it’s like to succeed. Now they’re eager to try new things and are not as afraid of failing.” – Jackie McKenzie, Principal, Moricetown Elementary School, Witset First Nation, BC
A success story
A journey to the edge of the Witset Elementary schoolyard reveals a whole new world for students and community members to explore and experience the land. Spirit North, band councillors, school staff and the local health centre came together to build trails that are accessible right from the school and tie into the community’s existing Perimeter Trail. The trails became a reality in late 2019, just five months after the idea was first presented.
“The kids are able to test their limits and develop their skills in a comfortable, low–stress and familiar setting. We’ve also been able to incorporate youth leadership with the older kids supporting the younger ones. This wasn’t possible before the trail build.” – Community Outreach Leader Sheena Briggs
Through their collaborative effort, the Witset community and Spirit North have created a lasting resource that supports the health and wellness of students and the overall community.