Exchanges Unite Us - Intercultural Exchanges in NWT

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Exchanges Unite Us - Intercultural Exchanges in NWT

$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The CRE was founded on the premise that together we can build a generation of leaders that will redefine and strengthen existing relationships between Canada's peoples. This is a national process that walks the talk, and truly believes in and has activated the idea that ‘exchanges unite us’ across Canada. It is a youth-led initiative that targets Canadians between the ages of 18-30, giving them access to experiential knowledge and intercultural participation that will build new understandings between college and university students and Aboriginal youth and their communities. The CRE has already mobilized plans to expand our reach to high school age youth as well and will be running and Exchange with Pelican Falls HS this coming summer. The Canadian Roots Exchange project brings Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth together on one, two or three-week journeys, with the ultimate goal of having exchanges and field courses in Aboriginal communities, organizations and businesses in every province and territory across Canada. CRE programming is directly coordinated and led by young people in partnership with adult cultural and community resources. Each participant is encouraged to actively bridge what has been repeatedly identified through research as a critical ‘knowledge divide’ in this country. The CRE has developed a multi-faceted experiential educational model that effectively bridges this long-standing cultural divide through respectful dialogue, play, laughter, ceremony and interpersonal sharing sessions.

As a facilitator and multi-disciplinary artist I find that people are more open to learning about the truth even if it isn't so nice when you approach them from a non-confrontational artisan perspective. I hope that by providing a safe space and opportunity for my participants to listen, learn and participate in our Dene culture this exchange will initiate healthy working relationships on various levels throughout our Territory and across Canada. This is why I am working with youth across Canada to continue to build a national educational initiative called the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE). This summer we will be running two intercultural exchange between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth in the North West Territories. I am applying for this Change Maker funding for this project because we will need approximately $50,000.00 to fund it because of the distance. This exchange would not only provide an opportunity to introduce the participants to our traditions but also provide them with a chance to immerse and open themselves up to a whole new world of understanding with regards to the Indigenous Identity, traditions and protocols. I believe I am a Change Maker because I inspire others to believe in their individuality. We are all here to accomplish great things and inspire many but it begins with knowing and loving who you are because you are the only you this world will ever know, so shine through your strengths and gifts. Follow your heart and you can provide a path for others to follow your lead. The creator doesn't make mistakes the creator makes master pieces and that is exactly what we all are.

The Canadian Roots Exchange in the North West Territories will take 14 participant (7 Aboriginal & 7 Non-Aboriginal Youth) led by two intercultural leaders and two cultural guides on a 10-day exploration of the strengths and struggles of the people living in and around Yellowknife. The projects will run in June and August and will bring together elders, leaders, community worker and youth to share and learn from each other. By contextualizing Aboriginal traditions and practice through a contemporary and holistic educational experience and promoting youth leadership development, the Canadian Roots Exchange seeks to build a better understanding of our cultural roots and promote the positive potential of building a better future together.

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About You, Your Group, or Your Organization

Canadian Roots Exchange - Les échanges des racines canadiennes


, NT

Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples


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What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, Other.

What best describes your group or organization

Non-profit organization.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

The Canadian Roots Exchange seeks to bridge the cultural divide in Canada through intercultural youth-to-elder exchanges and field courses in the NWT.

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Expanding (it has been running for a while, has grown, you know it is making a difference and now you want to expand)

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

The Canadian Roots Exchange is dedicated to fulfilling our vision and fostering a generation of leaders who will take action to build a cooperative, proud future for Canada. For Aboriginal youth, we provide a leadership opportunity, and an opportunity for many Aboriginal youth from many parts of this country to see other communities, learn about the unique cultures of other Aboriginal communities and to see the strength of the communities that are thriving in Canada. For non-Aboriginal youth, we offer an opportunity to experience a part of their country that otherwise would never be opened to them, to see both the strengths and the struggles through the words of proud leaders from the communities. For the communities we provide an opportunity to share knowledge with the next generation.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

Expand our initiative into a national youth cultural program, operating exchanges in every province and territory in Canada.

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

Sharing Aboriginal identity is at the heart of this country’s national well being and will persist as the greatest challenge for generations of Aboriginal leaders to come as they embark on a process of reconciliation with the peoples of this land. Of fundamental importance to uniting around a shared character is the exploration of Canadian Aboriginal heritage and its influences on modern national policy and culture. The continued growth of the Canadian Roots Exchange will build a generation of leaders with the knowledge and experience to negotiate a better treaty relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and Canada. This program will also inspire hundreds of young Canadians both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal to see their country through a different, indigenous lens.

Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

We have been very fortunate to create healthy working relationships with various people, business's and nations. These healthy working relationships are important to our project because when sharing traditional teachings the approach is different then the western context. We understand that in order to provide a well rounded adequate exchange that we will have to work within the capacity of our community and we look forward to working alongside everyone.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

Various partners will contribute to the success of our exchange, one for example will be The Healing Drum society. We are approaching them to assist with creating a better understanding on Residential School Era and it's effects,as well as providing emotional support to our participants. The Healing Drum Society's participation will be essential in assisting with providing our participants with a better understanding of just how damaging the intergenerational effects are of the Residential School Era, and how we can collectively move forward into a healthier educated relationship. If people learn something, they can't unlearn it.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

Accommodation-Possible for donation-in-kind.
Food-Possibility for Traditional Food and contemporary food donated.
Facilitator: Presentations/Facilitation some individuals may donate their time.
Teaming up with the rec-coordinator will assist with easier integration into the community dynamic.

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

No (skip next two questions)