• First leadership camp for the First Nations youth of Québec
Oct 23, 2014

video that shows a unique experience
full of discovery and dreams

Wendake, Thursday, October 23, 2014 – From October 1 to 6, 2014, 45 youth aged 10 to 14 from 16 communities across Quebec were given the opportunity to enjoy an extraordinary experience and participate in the first leadership camp for First Nations youth in Quyon, near Ottawa.

The video, which was produced in collaboration with the First Nations Education Council (FNEC), shares their unique experience.

The Chief of the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi, Gilbert Whiteduck, who is also a member of the Chiefs Committee, who is replacing the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), visited the youth in order to welcome them to his ancestor’s lands. 

While speaking to the youth during a speech focused on their unique potential, he placed a lot of emphasis on the culmination of a long-time dream of Marjolaine Siouï, Executive Director of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC). Ms. Siouï was also there to share a beautiful message of hope with the youth that was tinged with lots of emotion. "This leadership camp for First Nations youth is a project that I have cherished and seeing it materialize touches me deeply," she said. "You're beautiful, you have dreams and we want to be there to help you achieve them,” she added while speaking to the youth. 

Throughout the camp, a team of dynamic facilitators and experienced counsellors supervised the youth in a nurturing environment where the focus was placed on the strengths of the participants and where positive and responsible behaviours were highly valued.

The camp will have allowed the youth to experience a variety of workshops and activities focused on discovery, cooperation, sports and drama. A cultural component including sharing circles with a talking stick, drum songs and other elements will have given the youth an opportunity to grow and thrive in their own cultural environment.

Surprises that gave them wings

As of the second day of the camp, the youth had the opportunity to meet Dr. Stanley Vollant during his "Innu Meshkenu" walk. In addition to walking a few kilometres with him and his news crew and discussing and discovering his journey, Dr. Vollant was a source of great motivation for all.

On the evening of October 3, Algonquin singer Samian, who is an idol for lots of them, surprised many with his presence. He shared a wonderful message of hope and gave his latest album to each youth as a gift. He also offered them an autograph session that many youth will not soon forget.

A great initiative based on collaboration and engagement

Bolstered by its experience gained over the last twenty years, the Breakfast Club shared its expertise related to youth engagement. The New Pathways: Foundation for the future of First Nations contributed generously to the funding of the First Nations youth leadership camp. "We want the youth to acquire the skills they need to develop and maintain a healthy self-esteem so that they can return home with the strength and courage to achieve the goals they have set for themselves and their communities" said Mickel Robertson, President of the New Pathways Foundation. What a great way to support a generation of socially engaged youth!

You can watch the video on the FNQLHSSC’s Facebook page as well as on the one of the New Pathways Foundation.

During her time at the site on October 2, Isabelle Picard, Coordinator of the New Pathways Foundation, was amazed to see these young people from different nations having so much fun forging connections and sharing their dreams with others. "This event was a first in Quebec and what I saw during my visit at the camp on October 2 has motivated me to continue my work so that every First Nation youth can have the opportunity to enjoy this unique experience that is full of hope.”

The New Pathways Foundation was officially launched in April 2010. Its mission is to help improve the living conditions of First Nations by funding projects focused on social and human development of the individuals within their communities. For more information or to donate online, please visit www.nouveauxsentiers.com

This innovative project was made possible thanks to the partners’ financial contributions and the New Pathways Foundation would like to express its sincere gratitude to them: 

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission

Breakfast Club of Canada

Tim Horton Children’s Foundation


Innu Meshkenu with Dr. Stanley Vollant

Air Canada Foundation

First Nations Education Council

Quebec First Nations communities



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Isabelle Picard
New Pathways Foundation Coordinator