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Nihtat Gwich’in Council youth coordinator Gail Ann Raddi cooks up some burgers for Audrina and Andrea Jerome, as well as Emelia Maring, Ashlyn and Mason Kelly and Josephine Martin. Nihtat is providing free programming for Indigenous Youth until August through funding from Jordan’s Principle.

Indigenous youth hoping to get some on the land experience are being invited to sign up for a program through Nihtat Gwich’in Council offering numerous traditional activities through Jordan’s Principle.

Signing families up through an outdoor barbecue at their headquarters July 14-16 alongside a Meet and Greet at Jak Park for the kids to get them started.

Youth coordinator A.J. Minakis said activities included sewing, reading circles, camping trips and possibly even a whaling trip.

“We’re just trying to do things that are educational for the community,” she said. “We want to reach as many aboriginal youth that we can.”

Summer programming will begin July 20-25, with a reading circle. A fishing trip, nature walk, literacy and outdoor games will also be offered during the day throughout the week. Mask making activities will be held in the evenings and movies playing on Saturday.

A second week of activities will run July 27 to August 1, with a reading circle, fishing trip, canvas bag making, literacy and outdoor games and movies, but also a field trip to Tuktoyaktuk. The program continues into August.

Anyone interested who missed the meet and greet can call the Nihtat Gwich’in Council at 777 6650 to acquire a registration form. The program is open to anyone from ages five to 18 and is open to all Indigenous youth.

Jordan’s Principle refers to a 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that concluded the federal governments’ handling of services for First Nations children was discriminatory. It holds that funding for children’s programs and development should not be withheld while governing bodies decide which department pays for what. It’s named for Jordan River Anderson, a Norway House Cree Nation child who died in hospital at age five of a rare muscular disorder while the federal and Manitoba governments argued over who paid for his care.

The principle operates on numerous tenants, such as providing culturally appropriate services to youth and safeguarding the best interests of the child. Nihtat is doing its part buy providing educational tutoring for First Nation Children and on-the-land cultural experiences to help youth express their creativity in traditional arts and crafts.

Jordan’s Principle is a two-year program that ends in 2022.

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Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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