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First GEN7 Youth Leadership Retreat in Calgary to empower Indigenous youth

Motivate Canada’s GEN7 Youth Leadership Retreat being held over the weekend in Calgary is acting as a first step in supporting the growth of youth in Indigenous communities, by bringing young people together for an empowering experience.

In the past few months, concerns over the lack of support available to aboriginal youth across the country have made headlines.

Last week, Alberta’s child and youth advocate released an investigative review about the suicides of seven aboriginal youth within an 18-month period.

On April 10, a state of emergency was declared by the remote northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat amid a statistically stratospheric spate of suicides and suicide attempts. Eleven people in the community of 2,000 tried to kill themselves in one night. Ten-year-old children have tried to end their lives.

READ MORE7 aboriginal youth suicides in Alberta prompts recommendations: ‘Something more is needed’

Youth leaders at the event offered help to develop skills to increase opportunities in sport and physical activity in their communities. Action plans to implement in their community were also presented.

The event also included interactive sessions on physical literacy, community mapping, public speaking, and storytelling.

Olympic Boxer Mary Spencer and former member of Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team, Carmelina Moscato, were speakers.

Spencer says it’s important to empower and equip young people with confidence and tools to create positive change.

“They have been and continue to be our country’s fastest-growing population, bursting with the potential to be leaders not only in their communities but our nation as a whole,” Spencer said.

The retreat runs until Sunday, May 1, daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Vivo For Helathier Generations on Country Hills Village Link NE.

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