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Enoch mâmawinitowin mîyowâyâwin
kâkakiy kâ-sîtoskâhcik awâsisak kinistowinahkik otawîhkôsôwiniwâw nehiyâwiwin kakaskihtamâsocik miyo mamitonêyicikan, otâcahkîwiniwâw, miyomahcihôwin, ekwa sohkâtisiwin ita kôcicik.
"To guide and support each awasis (child, a lighted angelic being) to reach their full potential intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically, and to realize a strong maskêkosihk nehiyawak identity within a safe, respectful and loving learning environment."
Enoch’s mâmawinitowin mîyowâyâwin, meaning ‘a gathering place of wellness’, is an opportunity to support the health of maskêkosihk (Enoch Cree Nation)’s Indigenous youth by building capacity for sport and recreation. This looks like barrier free participation, official and coach training and event management all through peer mentoring and positive community experiences. Launched in September 2021, the backbone of this initiative is to support positive peer relationships that are able to increase social connections and participation of youth into sport and recreation activities. Ultimately, this will lead to improved health, employability and school engagement, all through peer mentoring and positive community experiences. The Hub is jointly operated by Ever Active Schools and Kitaskinaw Education Authority staff.
Prior to the official launch, a youth mini-camp in August engaged youth leaders to support the project. In September, the miyowâyâwin hub officially launched with a fun run supported by the AMA Youth Run Club and University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas Cross Country runners. Just weeks later, maskêkosak Enoch Cree Nation and the maskekosak kiskinomatowikamik (mk) School held an Orange Shirt Day event, unveiling a monument to residential school survivors and hosting a memorial walk with 350 participants. Next, the hub organized programs at the youth centre, including self-defence and First Aid/CPR.
Sport-for-development provides a platform for sport to be used as a tool or “hook” to contribute to positive outcomes in areas including economic development, social inclusion, cultural cohesion, healthy lifestyles, education, gender equity, as well as reconciliation and peace building. Sport is a driver to health, learning and social connectedness.
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended ninety-four Calls to Action for all Canadians and for all levels of the federal, territorial, provincial, and municipal governments to enact. Included was a specific section titled “Sports and Reconciliation” (2015, p. 10). The section describes five actionable Calls to Action that inspire macro-level (national & international) considerations of the following Sport for Development (SfD) project:
- Tell the stories of Indigenous athletes in history;
- Support long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth;
- Amend policies to promote physical activity and sport participation as
fundamental elements of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sport participation, and build capacity within communities and all of Canada to be more inclusive of Indigenous Peoples;
- Establish stable funding for access to community sports programs; elite Indigenous athlete development, and programs for coaches, trainers and officials that promote Indigenous culture and anti-racism; and
- Engage Indigenous communities in local, national and international sporting events.
We are excited to continue running programming for and with the youth of maskêkosak Enoch Cree Nation and look forward to the positive impacts of this work.