Sixteen Water I <3 U Youth Water Leaders, their chaperones and CIER staff enjoyed the third workshop in Yellowknife, NWT from March 23-29, 2014.
Throughout the week, the youth were engaged in fun, interactive activities that explored Dene traditional teachings, hand games, and family games, learning about local and larger Arctic watershed water issues, exploring science and traditional knowledge systems, the art of persuasion and implementing change through the development of the action plan proposals.
The youth enjoyed a tour of the Snow King’s Ice Castle, toured Air Tindi, where students checked out the floatplanes, and visited a local house-boater to learn and understand what it is like to live off the grid.
Phil Fontaine, Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, led a session discussing the art of persuasion and provided the youth with real life experiences on how leaders need to be masterful at persuasion in order to gain support for your causes. During this session, the youth did role-play activities where they pretended to be Chief and Council, and then Environmental Non-Government Organizations listening to youth-driven community action ideas.
Another one of our evening activities was to go dog-sledding. The youth rode in pairs and took turns driving their own sled! We journeyed out along the Slave River and enjoyed hot chocolate at a cabin watching the sunset.
On our field trip day, we visited the Dene community of Dettah where we travelled on a huge ice road and enjoyed learning how to play traditional Dene family games, hand games, and united as a group in a round dance to the beat of the drums. Later in the day, we visited the now closed Giant Mine, where we learned about the contamination issues of the mine and mitigation efforts.
By the end of the week, each water leaders group had completed their Water Action Proposals as well as sixteen digital stories, which are now posted here on IFF!, and updated their timelines.
The final workshop will be held in Shoal Lake #39 First Nation in Manitoba. The youth are working hard to complete their water actions. Stay turned to see what the youth accomplish and how they celebrate their successes with the Water I <3 U project!