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Supporting Indigenous Communities: Right To Play & Edmonton Oilers Collaborate for Training

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Empowering Community Leaders

To support Community Mentors (CMs) as they gear up to launch their summer programming, Right To Play recently hosted training at Rogers Place, the Edmonton Oilers' home arena. Eight CMs from partner communities in Alberta — including White Buffalo Youth Lodge, Big Island Lake Cree Nation, Alexander First Nations, Janvier Sekweha Youth Centre, and Driftpile Cree Nation — joined Nike Ambassador and found of Sport For Spirit, Kendra Jessie Rosychuk, Oilers Alumni Kevin Lowe, Chris Joseph and Chris Dingman, as well as Right To Play staff, for a three-day training to support the develop of their community programs.

Kendra Jessie Rosychuk kicked off the opening session, forging strong and influential connections with the CMs and sparking their excitement for the days ahead. Drawing from her amazing life experiences and the diverse opportunities she's had working with Indigenous communities and their youth, she gave creative, structured, and relevant feedback to the CMs on effective ways to engage youth through sport and culture.

Innovative Hockey Programs for Youth Mental Health

Right To Play Staff collaborated with CMs to develop tailored ball hockey programs, with a focus on supporting mental health in children and youth.

The CMs took turns facilitating activities with the group, selecting games from several Right To Play learning materials, including the Taking Care Resource, the Traditional & Land Based Sport, and Language Infusion resources.

A large focus was coaching CMs on how to create program goals to support mental health and wellness in children and youth, and planning types of supports and tools to overcome obstacles. The CMs also collaborated to create a program plan for a week of mental health and hockey/ball hockey activities using Right To Play resources!

The Power of Partnerships

Having the chance to gather together for trainings like these is crucial for how they foster connections between CMs, enabling them to share ideas, collaborate effectively, and ultimately enhance the impact of programs on the communities we serve. Seeing the passion and dedication of these remarkable individuals is so inspiring and is a showcase of how we can drive positive change through sports and mentorship.

This training was made possible through funding from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. A huge thank you for the impact you're helping to create in the lives of Indigenous children and youth!

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