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Voices

"The Active Circle is a family, I feel like I'm part of something. I feel really supported in the work that I do."

Evan Chamakese, Pelican Lake First Nation

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Programs and camps — including transportation, sports equipment and snacks — are open to children in Grades 4 to 6, who come from more than 100 schools in Manitoba and from communities in the province’s northern region. Beyond athletic instruction, participants are given the chance to learn about indigenous culture and where their true potential lies.
All of WASAC’s programs uses its partnerships with Winnipeg’s school divisions to recruit students at a young age in grades four, five, and six for the summer camps.  We recruit students from over 80 different schools during their last month of classes.  We then have a bus pick up the students from each school to deliver an unforgettable experience.  Much of the message WASAC programs deliver is about mentorship.  The students learn about different Aboriginal cultural teachings and crafts along with different sports and recreational activities.
WASAC launched its programs in the northern town of Shamattawa first, spreading to other small communities. But many rural students go to the big city to attend school, so, in Winnipeg, WASAC provides after-school programs with tutoring and other supports.WASAC is committed to building relationships with Aboriginal communities in Shamattawa, Pauingassi, Duck Bay, and Lac Brochet.  With strong relationship with the youth, school staff, and community members, WASAC is able to provide sport and recreational equipment to help deliver programs specific for each community.  These programs are offered to give the youth more opportunities to celebrate and have a sense of belonging with their schools.
Partnered schools: Abraham Beardy Memorial School (Shamattawa), Petit Casimir Memorial School (Lac Brochet), Minegoziibe Anishinabe School (Duck Bay), Omiishosh Memorial (Pauingassi), Philomene Chartrand School (Pine Creek)
Southeast Training Academic Recreation Students
Many youth from First Nation communities in Northern Manitoba attend Southeast Collegiate.  Students there are able to attend Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre’s STARS program.  The Southeast Training Academic Recreation Students attend weekly workshops and outings which promote a healthy lifestyle and cultural awareness.
Partnered school: Southeast Collegiate
Student Mentor Aboriginal Rolemodel Tutorship
Student Mentor Aboriginal Rolemodel Tutorship is an after school program partnered with St. John’s High School.  SMART extends the school day of a student by providing them with homework assistance as well as workshops designed to increase confidence, cultural awareness and skill development.
Partnered school: St. John’s High School
True North Hockey Academy
It was exciting news to hear that Winnipeg will have their Jets back and even more exciting is WASAC’s partnership with the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation.  The True North Hockey Academy delivers a top notch hockey program for students who would not have had the opportunity to play hockey otherwise.  With six schools on board (Chief Peguis, Donwood, Strathcona, Buchanan, Hedges, and Crestview), the True North Hockey Academy gives over 100 students a chance to learn about the game of hockey and all the benefits the sport offers.
Partnered schools: Chief Peguis, Donwood, Strathcona, Buchanan, Hedges, Crestvie
Eco Kids on Campus
In early 2008 a pilot program called Eco-Kids on Campus was initiated. This involved the visit of a combined grade 5-6 classroom from a local inner-city school to the University once a week for about four hours, over the course of 10 weeks. While on campus the students did various science activities, related to their curriculum, which were taught by a combination of University faculty and students. The program was extremely successful, and word-of-mouth led to a demand from numerous other schools in the inner-city area to offer the program to them. Due to the nature of the schools involved, a significant proportion of the students are Aboriginal, and so an effort is made to relate Western Science to traditional indigenous knowledge. As such, topics involving nature and the environment play a large role.
Partnered schools: William Whyte and Strathcona
Funding Sources: 
 Canadian Heritage, City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Sport Manitoba,Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation, University of Winnipeg, River East Transcona School Division, St. James School Division, Seven Oaks School Division, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc, Manitoba Aboriginal Sport & Recreation Council.
Strategies For Sustainability: 
We’re funded 70 per cent by government and 30 per cent by private donations. We hope to change that to 50-50 within three years,”
Impact Of Program: 
Now WASAC is helping to remove barriers for thousands of children annually and is Canada’s largest employer for Aboriginal children and youth. Since it's beginning more than 15,000 children have participated in its after-school programs and summer camps.
Key Elements Towards Success: 
WASAC builds capacity in Indigenous youth by offering them a mix of courses in leadership and mentorship. Participants then hone their skills in children’s sports and recreational programs. The programs are free, because almost all of WASAC’s participants are from families barely getting by.
Challenges To Meet Them: 
“Moving to a city from a remote place can be a big burden, so this is a way to meet and stay connected with friends,”
Winnipeg has the highest percentage of indigenous and Métis youth of any city in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. In a province where indigenous youth are incarcerated at a rate eight times higher than non-indigenous youth, gangs hold a dark allure. They feed off a yearning to belong – especially in someone who may have experienced abject poverty, placement in child welfare, lack of education, or exposure to family violence, the social planning council paper notes.
WASAC’s driving aim is to provide a positive sense of belonging,'If you don’t, kids will find it somewhere else.”
Length and Stage of Project: 
Since it’s inception in 1999, the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre opened its doors as a small non-profit organization with 2 coaches, 4 leaders and 40 children.

Programs and camps — including transportation, sports equipment and snacks — are open to children in Grades 4 to 6, who come from more than 100 schools in Manitoba and from communities in the province’s northern region. Beyond athletic instruction, participants are given the chance to learn about indigenous culture and where their true potential lies.

All of WASAC’s programs uses its partnerships with Winnipeg’s school divisions to recruit students at a young age in grades four, five, and six for the summer camps.  We recruit students from over 80 different schools during their last month of classes.  We then have a bus pick up the students from each school to deliver an unforgettable experience.  Much of the message WASAC programs deliver is about mentorship.  The students learn about different Aboriginal cultural teachings and crafts along with different sports and recreational activities.

WASAC launched its programs in the northern town of Shamattawa first, spreading to other small communities. But many rural students go to the big city to attend school, so, in Winnipeg, WASAC provides after-school programs with tutoring and other supports.WASAC is committed to building relationships with Aboriginal communities in Shamattawa, Pauingassi, Duck Bay, and Lac Brochet.  With strong relationship with the youth, school staff, and community members, WASAC is able to provide sport and recreational equipment to help deliver programs specific for each community.  These programs are offered to give the youth more opportunities to celebrate and have a sense of belonging with their schools.

Partnered schools: Abraham Beardy Memorial School (Shamattawa), Petit Casimir Memorial School (Lac Brochet), Minegoziibe Anishinabe School (Duck Bay), Omiishosh Memorial (Pauingassi), Philomene Chartrand School (Pine Creek)

Southeast Training Academic Recreation Students

Many youth from First Nation communities in Northern Manitoba attend Southeast Collegiate.  Students there are able to attend Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre’s STARS program.  The Southeast Training Academic Recreation Students attend weekly workshops and outings which promote a healthy lifestyle and cultural awareness.

Partnered school: Southeast Collegiate

Student Mentor Aboriginal Rolemodel Tutorship

Student Mentor Aboriginal Rolemodel Tutorship is an after school program partnered with St. John’s High School.  SMART extends the school day of a student by providing them with homework assistance as well as workshops designed to increase confidence, cultural awareness and skill development.

Partnered school: St. John’s High School

True North Hockey Academy

It was exciting news to hear that Winnipeg will have their Jets back and even more exciting is WASAC’s partnership with the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation.  The True North Hockey Academy delivers a top notch hockey program for students who would not have had the opportunity to play hockey otherwise.  With six schools on board (Chief Peguis, Donwood, Strathcona, Buchanan, Hedges, and Crestview), the True North Hockey Academy gives over 100 students a chance to learn about the game of hockey and all the benefits the sport offers.

Partnered schools: Chief Peguis, Donwood, Strathcona, Buchanan, Hedges, Crestvie

Eco Kids on Campus

In early 2008 a pilot program called Eco-Kids on Campus was initiated. This involved the visit of a combined grade 5-6 classroom from a local inner-city school to the University once a week for about four hours, over the course of 10 weeks. While on campus the students did various science activities, related to their curriculum, which were taught by a combination of University faculty and students. The program was extremely successful, and word-of-mouth led to a demand from numerous other schools in the inner-city area to offer the program to them. Due to the nature of the schools involved, a significant proportion of the students are Aboriginal, and so an effort is made to relate Western Science to traditional indigenous knowledge. As such, topics involving nature and the environment play a large role.

Partnered schools: William Whyte and Strathcona

Funding Sources:  Canadian Heritage, City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Sport Manitoba,Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation, University of Winnipeg, River East Transcona School Division, St. James School Division, Seven Oaks School Division, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc, Manitoba Aboriginal Sport & Recreation Council.

Strategies For Sustainability: We’re funded 70 per cent by government and 30 per cent by private donations. We hope to change that to 50-50 within three years,”

Impact Of Program: Now WASAC is helping to remove barriers for thousands of children annually and is Canada’s largest employer for Aboriginal children and youth. Since it's beginning more than 15,000 children have participated in its after-school programs and summer camps.

Key Elements Towards Success: WASAC builds capacity in Indigenous youth by offering them a mix of courses in leadership and mentorship. Participants then hone their skills in children’s sports and recreational programs. The programs are free, because almost all of WASAC’s participants are from families barely getting by.

Challenges To Meet Them: “Moving to a city from a remote place can be a big burden, so this is a way to meet and stay connected with friends,”

Winnipeg has the highest percentage of indigenous and Métis youth of any city in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. In a province where indigenous youth are incarcerated at a rate eight times higher than non-indigenous youth, gangs hold a dark allure. They feed off a yearning to belong – especially in someone who may have experienced abject poverty, placement in child welfare, lack of education, or exposure to family violence, the social planning council paper notes.

WASAC’s driving aim is to provide a positive sense of belonging,'If you don’t, kids will find it somewhere else.”

Length and Stage of Project: Since it’s inception in 1999, the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre opened its doors as a small non-profit organization with 2 coaches, 4 leaders and 40 children.

Read more here

Active Circle Communities

Seine River First Nation and Fort Frances Friendship Centre, Ontario

With the support of GEN7 messenger Kent Brown, the community is planning activities for youth and young girls.


Katarokwi Native Friendship Center, Kingston, Ontario

The community is working with Gen7 Messenger Josh Sacobie around regular visits and events with the youth and the center.


Pelican Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan 

The community's youth council has been planning and implementing a number of activities including a girls only program, outdoor sports and leadership training.


Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador

The ASRCNL is working with CAAWS and Motivate Canada on the You Go Girls program in 7 communities.

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