12 Reasons Aboriginal Programs Make a Difference

Did you know YMCA Calgary offers free Aboriginal programs and services? The programs and services are offered to people of Aboriginal background and help these folks connect with their Aboriginal roots and other people.

Here are the Top 12 Reasons Aboriginal Programs Make a Difference:

  1. Provide Aboriginal youth and families with a safe place to be together, build relationships and have fun.
  2. Provide Aboriginal youth and families with recreational opportunities several times a week. The rates of preventable diseases such as heart disease and Type Two diabetes are much higher in the Aboriginal community than the rest of Canada. Recreational opportunities can help to reduce this pattern.
  3. Helps Aboriginal people learn about their culture, history and foster positive self identity.
  4. Helps Aboriginal people feel welcomed and included in the Calgary community.
  5. An opportunity for non-Aboriginal people to interact with Aboriginal youth and families in a positive and meaningful way, breaking down prejudice and stereotypes that may exist.
  6. Provide a sense of community and belonging within schools to help Aboriginal children & youth deal with issues as a group instead of as an individual.
  7. Connect students to Elders and traditions that they might not have a chance to experience without the programs.
  8. Increase aptitude for employability skills such as communication, conflict management, leadership, team work, etc.
  9. Create balance in Aboriginal people’s lives through medicine wheel teachings, balancing mind, body, spirit and emotions at home, school and with peers.
  10. Build individual sense of identity to establish self-assurance so they can handle anything the world throws at them because they know who they are as a person, and understand  relationships with family, peers, community and the universe.
  11. Increases young Aboriginal people’s sense of ownership and encourages them to take ownership in everything that they do. Connecting ownership with the four values of YMCA and the 7 Sacred Teachings.
  12. Aboriginal people are the most marginalized demographic in Canada and YMCA’s Y7G program reinforces the notion that students are not destined to the stereotypes conveyed in popular media and school hallways.

Each of these points also help people in YMCA Aboriginal programs become more community-oriented and have the necessary tools to build better, healthy communities.