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Little Red River: Aweena Naya
Aweena Neya means “Who I am” in Cree. It is a project based on the partnership between Ever Active Schools and Little Red River Cree Nation, which is comprised of three Woodland Cree communities: John D'Or Prairie, Fox Lake, and Garden River. Our objective is to work with youth workers, community champions and youth in these communities to develop and strengthen relationship building, well-being and connections with community, land, culture and tradition. We are striving to build capacity within youth through strengthening senses of belonging and positive mental health, and by building upon existing strengths and skills. As a collective we are working to expand the dialogue on the importance of wellness for our youth and communities.
Through this partnership, we work together to support and find the resources and tools for well-being that best suit the needs of the communities. Our involvement is based on supporting and providing the tools for community members to address and support identified needs. This can look like in-person and virtual training, youth mentorship programming, prevention training, and wellness workshops.
First formed in March 2021, this project is still in the early stages, but we have already seen an increase in uptake and capacity of community members. In the summer of 2021, we hosted AMA Youth Run Club summer activities, team training and some community-specific activities. We are continuing to develop wellness workshops, youth programming, community specific resources, and more! Youth workers from the communities have been actively involved in engaging youth and other community champions in ongoing programs and activities to support well-being. We are constantly learning and growing together as a collective as we continue to look for ways to best support youth in building community connection and resilience.