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Embracing Our Youth Conference: Miskisew Middle School

Mikisew Middle School hosted the 2nd Annual Embracing Our Youth Conference, May 14-17, 2012. The philosophy behind the conference is stated in the following:

In a united effort, support us to embrace, encourage and educate our youth to continue in journey of life-long learning, understand more of our history, the diverse choices of traditional and western preferences, the impact of today’s modern technology, the challenges and obstacles in society; as well as, a variety of other issues affecting our youth and community, including but not limited to Bullying, Grief & Loss, Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Gang Violence.

Spencer West and Elder Nick Halcrow

This four day event was filled with many activities including workshops by community members and educators, a talent show, entertainment, booth and art displays and a feast on the final day. One of the highlights of this conference was the keynote address by Spencer West, an individual who lost his legs when he was five years old and speaks on the international circuit to address the issue of bullying and inspire youth overall. One of the amazing endeavors he is undertaking which he shared with the audience is his plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Elder Nick Halcrow came and gave a sincere Cross Lake greeting to Spencer.

Murray Blacksmith, along with the staff from the Indian Residential School support provided an overview of traditional activities that take place for healing in model sizes of the sweatlodge, sundance arbor and tipi. Along with the other displays, including the MFNERC display, youth displayed their eye for fashion, art and design.

On the third day, staff and community members helped to prepare the feast outside, bannock making, cleaning and synching the geese. The home economics teacher and all around community gardener, Donna Hoeppner showed how she mills spelt in the classroom to make healthy spelt bannock!

Congratulations to the staff and community members who made this event such a great success!