Aboriginal youth from across the province are being brought together by the UBC Division of Aboriginal People’s Health to engage with peers and role models, and they don’t even have to leave their home communities. The UBC Youth Sharing Circle is back, with a series of interactive videoconference episodes specifically targeted for Aboriginal young people 29 and under.
The Circle gives First Nations, Metis, and Inuit youth a place to learn from each other and from individuals who have real-life experience with the subjects they’re talking about – subjects that are relevant to today’s Aboriginal young people. Youth in the Circle have the opportunity to express themselves, to be entertained, and to learn from and teach their peers all over BC.
The program is available to communities across the province thanks to the support of Health Canada which provided the required equipment to 80 BC communities. Youth who don’t have access to videoconferencing facilities can participate through online streaming and a chat room that allows them to communicate directly with the speaker.
The Youth Circle first ran in 2009 with great success (including speakers Gil Lerat and War Party) and it has now been relaunched with two sessions per month. Topics for the 2011-2012 season include sexual health, hip-hop, fashion, self-esteem, suicide, sports, gang life, racism, education, youth-elder relations, and traditional teachings.
The Circle is often held during school time, which means teachers can bring their classes to participate and students can get class-credit. Teachers are also encouraged to create assignments on the Circle topics, which meet BC Prescribed Learning Outcomes.
You and groups in your community can also present to the Youth Circle! You’re invited to share relevant Aboriginal youth related events, the challenges that you’re facing, and initiatives that you want to get started. The Circle gives you an opportunity to seek advice from others and discover how we can help and be inspired by each other.
The Youth Circle has the potential to create change, offer resources, empower youth and create dialogue between communities and young people that would otherwise be hard to bring together.
Interested in getting involved?
Contact Genevieve at the Division of Aboriginal People’s Health
604-682-2344 extension 63475.
Or visit the Learning Circle Site for more information.