Esquao Youth Leadership Development Program

Youth Leadership Development Program

The Esquao Youth Leadership Development Program is offered in partnership with the Amiskwaciy Academy. We received funding for this project from the City of Edmonton

The program uses a holistic approach that included community development, capacity building, technology, and relationships with our elders, as well as outreach participation with our partners. Program design focused on knowledge and a demonstration of leadership skills among participants. Increased awareness was also an objective: this included increasing awareness about the opportunities available to become involved in local community activities and among the various Indigenous community project partners.


Summer Youth Programming

In the past couple years, the IAAW and our partners, have discussed various ways to create awareness on the topic of: Increasing Safety for Indigenous Women. The overall decision was a Youth Empowerment Camp. The violence against Indigenous women and girls is a reality; the leadership camp was designed to provide the young people with the skills that would assist them in helping to end the plight, of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by encouraging to put their own sense of well being, self esteem, and safety first.

The main components of the camp were:
1. Healthy Self
2. Building Confidence
3. Safety Awareness
4. Relationships

Principles of the camp:
• Infuse cultural teachings into daily educational components by having three Elders participate in most of the activities.
• Attract young women who were vulnerable, possibly in foster care or group care
• Ensure an alcohol and drug free environment – maintain close relationship with the local police
• Employ staff and support persons who are compassionate, yet firm
• Keep participants active throughout the day and allow time to debrief at the nighttime campfire
• Supply healthy meals and snacks