Hundreds of youth from all over Alberta and B.C. traveled to Calgary for the annual Resiliency Summit organized by Ever Active School.
It’s a provincial initiative that supports healthy school environments in Indigenous Communities.
“Living on a reserve can be quite isolating so this just gives me a chance to go out there and meet new people and new experiences,” said 14-year-old Storm Thunder from Whitefish Lake First Nation.
Traditional sports like double ball and Dene pull games are part of the summit.
“Using the land, kids can play games, showing them how to make the sticks and using their brains and hands again instead of always using technology where the answers are always there for you”, said Jaron Weaselbear, who teaches traditional games to youth in southern Alberta.
“I had addictions problems with alcohol and for me it’s just getting back to the youth and showing them that you can overcome addictions through culture. Because for me it was the sweat lodge that helped me out and as of today I am pretty much 13 years clean and sober.”
Peter Daniels, a Dene Games coach from the Northwest Territories said pull games were created to survive off the land.
“So they would emulate hunting and harvesting situations, survival situations.”
Youth at the summit can also take part in pow wow dance lessons and elder circles.
Weaselbear said its tradition and culture that make Indigenous People so resilient.