The Sedin Family Foundation sponsored 15 First Nations youth, including youth from Port Hardy, and their chaperones to attend the Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training conference in Richmond, BC.
To kick off the week, the Foundation hosted the Port Hardy youth at the March 17 Vancouver Canucks’ game against the San Jose Sharks. Daniel and Henrik Sedin and their families also spent some time with the youth post-game.
“Johanna and I are excited to have the opportunity to help some of the North Island’s most promising youth attend the Gathering Our Voices conference next week,” says Henrik Sedin. “As the most important national event for Indigenous youth in Canada, we hope they will make connections that last the rest of their lives.”
The sponsorship is part of the Foundation’s recent initiative in Port Hardy, BC. In December 2017, the Foundation funded a partnership between Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) and the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre to bring BGCC’s national parenting program, Parents Together, to the city.
“When we decided to support the partnership between Boys and Girls Club of Canada and the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre, we hoped it would benefit the community of Port Hardy by helping create more strong, positive family relationships,” says Daniel Sedin. “Further helping the community by sponsoring youth to attend the conference next week is really meaningful to Marinette and me.”
The Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training conference is a national event held annually in March during spring break. The goal of the conference is to provide indigenous youth with the tools to work towards a better future by improving themselves and the world in which they live. Over the course of four days, up to 1,500 delegates participate in ceremonies, workshops and engaging, informative and educational experiences that allow them to connect with their peers and learn about other communities in Canada.
“I’m really excited to be attending the Gathering Our Voices conference and I’m really grateful to the Sedins for making it possible,” says Stephen George, a 19-year-old student from Port Hardy. “I’m looking forward to developing my leadership skills and sharing ideas with my peers from around Canada. Next week will be a life changing experience for me.”
Hosted by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), this is the 15th Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training conference. It is being held March 20-23, 2018 on traditional Musqueam Territory in Richmond, BC. Off-site events will be held in a variety of venues in the Lower Mainland.
About Gathering Our Voices
Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training is a national conference that brings together people from across Canada to explore, learn and engage with Indigenous culture. Hosted by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), the conference was launched in 2003 and quickly grew in size. Today, it welcomes well over 1,000 attendees each year. Participants take part in seminars and workshops centred around spiritual growth and leadership, and have the opportunity to network with kids their own age as well as see what communities across the country are doing.
About Sedin Family Foundation
The Sedin Family Foundation was established in 2013 to celebrate people and recognize achievement. The Foundation makes annual gifts to programs that support children’s health, education and family wellness in communities throughout British Columbia. The Foundation works with schools, community groups and social service agencies to identify needs and find creative and unique ways to make a difference for children and families. For more information, visit sedinfamilyfoundation.org.