On-the-land Indigenous training camp ran near Hedley from July 14 to 21

Indigenous teens from across B.C. and the rest of Canada meet and greet at the on-the-land training camp running just outside Hedley last week. (Contributed)
Indigenous teens participate in a workshop. (Contributed)
Ashley Quilt, from Yunesit’in, holds a colourfully decorated drum. (Contributed)
Mob Bounce group members teach musical skills to teens. This was the first time the Indigenous hip-hop band led workshops at the camp. (Contributed)
Mob Bounce group members teach musical skills to teens. (Contributed)
The land-based learning blends the arts and best practices in community-building. (Contributed)
Physical activity was also part of the camp. (Contributed)
Youth take part in a community mapping workshop where they map out their communities as they are and what they want them to be. (Contributed)

A seven-day on-the-land training camp for Indigenous teens took place just outside of Hedley on ancestral land from July 14 to 21.

The camp was grounded in the teachings of the Okanagan First Nations but was for all Indigenous youth.

Participating this year was Syilx youth in the Similkameen with other Indigenous youth from all across B.C., including Duncan, Masset, Squirrel Cove and Williams Lake as well as from Whitecourt, Alta., Tisdale, Sask., Southwold in Ontario and even Bawku, Ghana.

READ MORE: Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

New this year, the camp is hosting Mob Bounce, a socially-conscious Indigenous hip-hop group that includes a blend of modern day electronic day music.

The goal of the organization running the camp, IndigenEYEZ, is to transform communities. Its mission is to inspire an inter-generational legacy of well-being among First Nations people in B.C. and beyond.

It works with teens to instill empathy, teamwork and innovation—critical skills, organizers say, for leaders of tomorrow.

The training camp for Indigenous youth and mentors also aims to strengthen skills in delivering workshops on climate change, water stewardship and land advocacy in the young people’s own community.

To report a typo, email: editor@keremeosreview.com.


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