Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA) summer students wrapped up their summer employment experience by learning leadership skills, participating in cultural activities, and enjoying some outdoor fun.

The Kenora Chiefs Advisory Youth and Family Wellness Camp were host to youth summer students from both KCA and Treaty Three Police Service (T3PS) on August 22-23, 2022. The students, ages 15 to 25, spent their summer working with multiple programs and organizations across both KCA and T3PS.

From getting to know community members with Kenora Makwa Patrol to working with animals and coordinating events out at the Youth and Family Wellness Camp, 17 students spent their summer with KCA engaging with communities and participating in cultural exchange.

During the two-day retreat, students participated in activities such as land-based learning with local Knowledge Keepers, equine assisted learning with Ojibway Spirit Ponies, storytelling with local Elders, and recreational activities such as canoeing, sports and games.

Joshua O’Conner was employed with Makwa Patrol this summer and described his time as “very intense” spending most of his time out on foot patrol.
When asked what he took away from his experience this summer, O’Conner said “One thing I took away was to have an open mind to anyone in whatever state they are in, no matter the demographic. The thing I took away from this summer is to treat people equally and fairly, and to always make sure they
are safe.”

Adriana Novak worked at the Youth and Family Wellness Camp this summer; she was the Summer Student Camp Coordinator. “I was kind of like an assistant, I helped with anything and everything that was going on out here at the camp,” explained Novak.

When asked about her favourite experience or take away from the summer, she said “My favourite thing about working out here would be all of the different cultural based coordinating that I got to do, and I got to learn so much about how to use the land to create opportunities for healing.” Novak just graduated from university as a teacher, so she appreciated this opportunity to practice coordinating and working with groups.

Serena Kenny, KCA Operations Manager at the Youth and Family Wellness Camp, talked about how the two-day retreat went, “We did lots of team building, we learnt about leadership, how to take the skills that they learnt this summer and put them onto their resumes.”

“There were lots of laughs, lots of food, and it was a great time,” she concluded.

KCA would like to say miigwetch to our community partners, Seven Generations Education Institute and Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong, the Community Foundation, and the Government of Canada – Canada Summer Jobs program for supporting this youth employment initiative.