CHANGING THE LIVES OF YOUTH IN THE FIRST NATIONS
IYF FIRST NATIONS CAMP
Since 2014, IYF has been working with First Nations communities to impact the lives of First Nations youth.
Through summer programs in First Nations communities in Canada and hosting First Nations youth in the US, young people are being impacted and going beyond their limitations to realize their potential
Suicide is a never-ending story in First Nations communities across Canada. According to Stats Canada, the suicide rate for First Nations individuals is 3 times higher than the average Canadian.
Since 2011, IYF had been working with First Nations communities to bring First Nations youth that were living on reserves to summer camp programs in the US. Then In 2014, IYF proposed bringing IYF programs to First Nations communities and Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba responded with a welcoming invitation. With 20 volunteers from Chicago and Minneapolis riding in vans and a pickup truck, IYF made it’s first trip to Northern Manitoba from Toronto.
With the help of a Councillor and the Vice-Principal of the school, IYF volunteers were able to host the first “IYF First Nations Youth Camp”. IYF ran activities for youth and children in the mornings and afternoons and in the evenings, IYF Volunteers performed for the community and presented Mindset Education lectures for parents and adults, covering topics such as self-control, having a healthy mindset and suicide prevention.
With the COVID pandemic past us, IYF is continuing to work with First Nations communities and First Nations Youth to impact and change the lives of youth people across Canada.
“Before IYF, I was in depression. I always isolated myself and I had no hope in changing, or that I would ever leave this place and truly be happy. After my friend committed suicide, I isolated myself even more and closed the door to my heart. I didn’t want to listen to anyone. However, after I met IYF through many activities, I listened to mind lectures and Gracias Choir music, and watched IYF dance performances. Through the mind lectures, my heart started to open. For the past 2 years, I’ve been active with IYF and now my heart is wide open and I am very happy.”
“I learned how to open my heart and make friends through the World Camp. These days, I am invited to be a speaker at elementary schools. In the future, I want to be an official Mind Lecturer and be a positive influence to people.”
-Tony, Cross Lake
“I was deep in drugs and last summer I attended the World Camp in LA and New York and quit completely. It’s so amazing I don’t even think about doing drugs anymore. I used to be a key player for a junior ice hockey team, but I quit because of drugs. Recently, I started to play again. I have three dreams now. I’d like to be a great ice hockey player, have a career as an electrical repairman, and have a happy family.
-Matthew, Norway House