Healthy Schools BC Stories

Community: Nelson
School Name: Trafalgar Middle School
School District: SD008
Health Authority: Interior Health Authority
School Level: Middle
Category: Diversity and Equity
Inquiry: No
CSH Approach: No
Receieved HSN Grant: Yes
Date Submitted: 15/06/2015
Danica Lee
Education Sector

Aboriginal Youth Conference

On March 11, 2015, 100 Aboriginal youth from Trafalgar Middle School joined together for an Aboriginal Youth Conference on the theme of "Connections". This conference was organized and planned by a group of older Aboriginal youth from LV Rogers Secondary School and the Reach alternate program.

The theme of "connections" was to represent connections to each other, to Elders, to the community, to their culture, to positive role models, and to the land. Youth had the opportunity to meet 5 local Elders who shared the day with the youth. The youth were also able to choose between 6 different workshops throughout the day: connecting to self through hip hop music, outdoor survival schools, art through the medicine wheel, storytelling, pow wow dancing, and drumming. The youth shared a healthy meal together and then participated in more workshops. The day ended with a round dance and giveaway where youth were given water bottles to remember their time together!

In a survey completed by the youth, 99% of the youth said that had fun, 78% said they learned more about their culture, and 87% of youth said they learned more about living a healthy lifestyle.

When the youth were asked what they liked most about the day, this is what they had to say:

"Personal connections to my own ancestry and how to apply teachings to real life conflict"

"Everyone connecting"

"The freedom we had to join in where ever we felt comfortable"

"Getting to connect with Aboriginal mentors"

When the youth were asked what they learned about living a healthy lifestyle, they said:

"I thought it was that “be you” and that’s healthy"

"To balance yourself"

"To never give up"

"Solutions to repairing relationships"

"It’s healthy to sing. It’s good for the spirit and the lungs"

"Culture is a great way to stay on track"

"Creating healthy habits is important"

This was a great opportunity for youth to explore their cultures in a safe and supportive environment. Thanks to the HSN for supporting this event!