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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.
Since its inception, the hub has launched a number of initiatives:
- The iskwewak and oskâpêwis circles are leadership groups for grade 9-12 girls and boys, respectively. Within these circles the students engage in wellness activities, learn teachings and respect from local Elders and have opportunities to learn about ceremonies. The success of the iskwewak and oskâpêwis circles has led to a group for younger girls as well, with girls in grades 4-6 participating in wellness activities.
- In October 2022, maskêkosihk and Ever Active Schools partnered to host the Alberta School Athletics Association Cross Country Championships at the Enoch Cultural Grounds, supporting several Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Stay tuned for a mini documentary about the incredible event, and read more about it here.
- Recognizing the extensive cost of ceremonial regalia, the hub purchased several sewing machines. This allowed students and families to learn to sew their own regalia. The intention is that some regalia will stay at the school for future students to use so they may also participate in ceremonies.
- In 2022/2023, four youth leaders were hired to support daily physical activity as well as teachers within the classroom.
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), which includes the following actions:
- 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. Thank you to all of the community members and partners who make this possible.