Founded in 2017, Spirit North is a national charitable organization using sport and land-based activities to improve the physical and mental health of Indigenous youth, empowering them to become unstoppable in sport, school and life. Our vision is health, wellness and a brighter future for all Indigenous children and youth.
Our programs are developed and delivered in collaboration with communities, delivered free of charge, and include a broad spectrum of season-appropriate sports and activities.
Our approach is designed to increase participation in sport and recreation activities by overcoming common barriers to participation for Indigenous communities such as isolation, poverty, and coaching/leadership capacity.
In addition to regular sport program delivery, our programs increase local capacity by way of mentoring, training and coaching certification; professional development opportunities; assistance with equipment ownership; and trail network design and development support, which in turn empowers communities to drive and sustain sport programs and the corresponding benefits, for generations to come.
The core methodology of our work is focused around two key components:
1. Reducing barriers: Through opportunities to participate in regular, quality, inclusive sport and recreation programs in their own communities and schools, children and youth are provided increased opportunities to develop their potential, improve their health and wellbeing, experience social inclusion and develop essential life skills such as confidence and resilience.
2. Community engagement: In addition to certifying and employing community members as program leaders, family and community involvement is actively encouraged and promoted with the activities provided. This is done through providing equipment and venue access free of charge, creating unique engagement events, promoting community and school connectivity, and integrating traditional knowledge, language, practices and values into all aspects of programming.
“I’m a foster kid. Spirit North made me want to come to this school and gave me something to look forward to. Now I’m a ski leader coach and that makes me feel like I belong and that I can be good at something.” (Kian Bishop, Indigenous student participant)
A helpful guide to your dollars at work!
$25 – Buys supplementary winter clothing
$100 – Buys a pair of ski boots
$1,000 – Helps to cover costs for a Program Leader
$10,000 – Buys a fleet of bikes for a school
$25,000 – A year of program delivery to one school