Established in 2009, Spirit North is dedicated to increasing the physical, mental and community health of Indigenous children and youth by engaging them in regular sport and activity programming. Beginning with just four communities in our first year, Spirit North now works in more than 30 Indigenous communities throughout Alberta and BC, reaching an average of 6,000 children and youth annually with programming designed to promote health, foster resilience, develop healthy, active lifestyles and inspire lasting, meaningful change.
Delivering regular outreach programming to students in their own communities and schools, Spirit North uses a collaborative, play-based approach to engage children in sport and activity. Delivered free of charge, our programs are designed to be active, inclusive and participation-focused as they build and develop skills that can be transferred back into the classroom and the community, while successfully addressing a full spectrum of physical, cognitive, emotional, and mental health outcomes.
“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)How we do it: Spirit North operates free of charge in Indigenous communities across Alberta and BC, offering outreach program delivery to Indigenous youth of all ages and abilities. While our program focuses on providing sport as a fundamental element of health and well-being, we also assist communities in building ski clubs, trail development, coaching certification, equipment ownership, and mentorship to foster community-owned and led programming
Our approach: Spirit North’s core methodology is focused on three key components to effect positive development for Indigenous children and youth.
1) Connect: Delivering regular outreach programming to students in their own communities and schools, Spirit North uses a collaborative play-based approach to engage children in sport and activity. Our programs are designed to be active, inclusive and participation-focused as they build and develop skills that can be transferred back into the classroom and the community.
2) Empower: Recognizing that the most successful programs are community led and owned, Spirit North works diligently to guide and assist communities in transitioning from introductory program delivery to community-led sustainable programming.
3) Inspire: We understand that in order to create positive change in a community, it’s essential to create the desire for lifelong well-being from within each individual. More than just time on skis, our holistic approach includes information and resources on such important topics as mental health, good nutrition, land-based activity and physical literacy.Join our team and help support a brighter future for Indigenous children and youth! Even a small donation can make a difference in the life of a child and help us continue the important work of delivering sport and activity programming to Indigenous youth and their communities.
A helpful guide to your dollars at work!
$25 – Buys a pair of ski boots
$50 – Buys a pair of ski bindings
$100 – Buys a pair of skis
$800 – Supports a team
$1000 – A year of program delivery to one school