Youth & Elders Gathering
The Youth and Elders’ Gathering (YEG) is an annual four-day event which brings together youth and Elders from ANFCA member Friendship Centres to learn from traditional teachings, discover ways to incorporate teaching into today’s world, to gain awareness about critical community issues, share stories, and have fun. The connection formed between youth and Elders through this event enriches lives and contributes to the development of cultural pride, self-esteem, and the preservation of Indigenous cultures.
Rise Up: Empowering Urban Indigenous Youth
Rise Up is an ANFCA initiative focused on empowering urban Indigenous youth by providing training and learning opportunities that help promote the agenda and meaningful outcomes of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Specific objectives of the initiative have been to:
- Define reconciliation from a Friendship Centre youth standpoint
- Increase youth awareness of UNDRIP
- Increase community awareness of the TRC Calls to Action
- Increase opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to collaborate on community initiatives around reconciliation
- Create a community-based plan to address relevant TRC Calls to Action
- Support Indigenous youth in gaining knowledge and understanding, build their leadership skills, and build their sense of personal empowerment
- Increase youth civic awareness and engagement in social development
- Increase opportunities for multi-generational learning and sharing opportunities
ANFCA supports one youth per Friendship Centre to participate in all Rise Up activities.
Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC)
ANFCA’s Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC) was established in 1996 with the intent to increase urban Indigenous youth participation in culture and training. Today the well-developed youth council has emerged as a proud group of youth from across the province of Alberta with a vision for themselves, their communities and the future.
Building on a strong foundation of Friendship Centre history, AAYC is structured in a Board of Directors format that encourages skill development, and community involvement.
Throughout Alberta many Indigenous youth councils operate within Friendship Centres. It is from these community-based youth councils that representatives are appointed to attend the provincial youth council. Member Friendship Centres are encouraged to appoint one youth representative to attend the provincial youth council (AAYC) and one youth representative from AAYC is appointed to represent Alberta youth on the national Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC).
Building on their own young history, founding and early AAYC member have moved on making room for new members. Past members cite their involvement in Friendship Centres and AAYC as a turning point for their current life successes.
This impressive group of young people are representative of an array of Indigenous cultures found in Alberta. Metis, Dene, Cree Blackfoot, and Chipewyan youth join together to identify current issues, explore innovative solutions, advance personal skill development, access training and partake in cultural events and activities. AAYC has participated in youth and Elder cultural retreats, and province-wide youth programming.
This energetic group is steeped in strength, vision and respect. Historically, representatives from AAYC would join together to review and evaluate proposals from across Alberta for youth program funding under the federally funded Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Centres (UMAYC) initiative. Their direct involvement in this process was enlightening and empowering and ultimately instilled a sense of accountability and responsibility for solutions to overcome social issues faced at the community level.
ANFCA’s provincial youth projects bring youth together from the 21 Friendship Centres in Alberta and promote development in areas such as leadership, cultural teachings, self-esteem, employment skills, and awareness, prevention, and advocacy for community issues.
Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC)
Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council is composed of one youth voting appointed or elected by each member centre for a two-year term.
Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council is mandated to provide a youth voice and recommendations to the Board on the affairs of the Association that affect the youth members of local Friendship Centres; to help the Association represent and advocate at the provincial level for youth and the issues faced by youth members of local Friendship Centres; to encourage growth and leadership within Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council through training and mentoring; and to foster a two-way working relationship with ANFCA Board and Friendship Centre members.