Programs

Enriching the Lives of Indigenous Youth

We believe our Indigenous youth have a right to develop to their full potential as valued and engaged citizens within their Nations and Canada, where their culture and identity are celebrated.

By drawing on our traditional Indigenous knowledge, we partner with local community partners, sponsors, as well as Indigenous communities and youth, to deliver programs that support our mission and vision. Learn more about our inclusion program in this video.

Programs & Services

Our Programs Focus

Combining social innovation and traditional Indigenous culture, which results in unique programs that meet Indigenous youth ‘where they’re at’ while encouraging positive identity and sense of self.

The Process

USAY co-creates programming with Indigenous youth, partners and Elders, which is also unique to charitable organizations and is one contributing factor that makes our work highly successful. The goal is to create services that meet the direct needs of the Indigenous youth we serve, and how they see success, to create change in our direct community.

Programs

Currently Offered

Ambassador

Each year one young Indigenous leader is named the USAY Ambassador and receives their own custom made regalia. They attend community events and encourage others to embrace their culture and a positive lifestyle. This prestigious position is passed down from one Ambassador to the next annually.

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A Warrior's Journey: Then & Now

An interactive, body painting art exhibit, in which Indigenous young men portrayed the journey of an Elder from Residential Schools through to being a traditional leader, featured in New Tribe Magazine: Special Edition.

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Annoh’kotsiiyop (Passing It Down)

To support Indigenous youth and Elders sharing knowledge, USAY will provide monthly activities with all of the supplies to encourage intergenerational transmission of knowledge. Activities include traditional learnings and technological support to create success among all participants.

AKSISTOOYIIPAITAPISSIN

Aksistooyiipaitapissin (the thing that motivates someone to stay alive) is an interactive, Indigenized journal that allows youth to take part in activities that support their positive mental health.

Download Journal PDF
ARVR Demos

AR/VR Demos

USAY provides the opportunity to experience VR/AR demonstrations in Mohkinstsis and its neighboring regions. Featuring captivating titles such as Ksistsikoom (Thunder), Sacred Teachings (Writing on Stone), and Finding Victor, as well as an extensive range of reading materials including New Tribe Magazine, Blackfoot Graphic Novel, and a collection of interactive

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Blackfoot Graphic Novels

The Blackfoot Graphic Novel fosters a connection between Indigenous children and youth by incorporating the Blackfoot language and traditional stories, aiming to enhance the preservation and passing down of this endangered language.

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Changemaker Awards

Each year, USAY hosts the Indigenous Changemaker Awards to showcase and highlight those Indigenous community members and leaders that have made positive changes in our communities. Each award winner is nominated by community members and then selected by a committee of Indigenous people.

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Christmas Hampers

Celebrate the spirit of the season with USAY's Christmas Gift Card Giveaway! Watch our Social Media for the announcement of when sign up will be. Then call our office to register for one. We like to make the holidays special for our families and may have other give aways as well. Let’s make this holiday season memorable together.

Della’s Story

Experience the immersive Della's Story virtual escape room, where teams work together to unravel clues and unveil the narrative of a Sixties Scoop Survivor. Participants assume the roles of junior scientists from the future, entrusted with the mission of assembling memories from significant locations such as a Residential School Classroom, an Old Barn, and an Office. By successfully piecing together these memories, teams unlock access to a final room and further revelations.

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Early Dismissal

Early Dismissal Program

The Early Dismissal program is a vital youth initiative that serves as a gateway for students to engage with the wide range of enriching opportunities offered by the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY). By participating in this program, students gain access to USAY's youth programs, exciting events, immersive culture camps, esteemed elders, and comprehensive support services.

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Finding Victor VR

Finding Victor is a virtual reality escape room that aims to tell a compelling story of Indigenous youth, Victor, overcoming homelessness and stabilizing his life.

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Grief Circle

We facilitate periodic gatherings aimed at exploring and acquiring techniques, both traditional and contemporary, for effectively addressing and resolving grief and trauma. These sessions offer participants an opportunity to deepen their understanding of healing practices in a supportive environment.

Indigenous Youth Financial Empowerment

Supporting Indigenous youth with critical supports, such as learner’s permits, identification and other key tools that allow them to be successfully housed.

IndigiTRAILS

Using GPS services on smart devices, people can walk trails and view artwork created by Indigneous youth in the community. To see the trails available. Learn more in this video: click here

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Indigenous Inclusion Program

A weekly, after school program that supports Indigenous youth to engage on a healing journey, and feel more included in their school and community.

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Indigenous Pride

By providing avenues for participation and encouraging involvement in the Calgary Pride Parade, we create an environment where two-spirited Indigenous youth can experience acceptance, recognition, and honor.

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Indigenous Real-Time Toolkit

Supporting service providers to create tools, networks and utilize social media to better connect with Indigenous youth and increase successful transitions.

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Indigenous Tales

An interactive dinner theatre that allows Indigenous youth to express themselves through performance arts and engages the audience in powerful dialogue toward reconciliation.

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Indigenous Tech 101

A workshop series that allows Indigenous youth to understand careers in the technology industry including 3D printing, 360 video and other skills.

IndigiWORLDS

IndigiWORLDS is a remarkable app designed to transport you into an enchanting realm of augmented reality experiences, all from the comfort of your own palm. Delve into captivating locales such as the mesmerizing Writing on Stone, where you can uncover fascinating insights into Indigenous history and culture through a multitude of immersive portals thoughtfully crafted within the app. Embrace the opportunity to download this extraordinary app today, and embark on an exhilarating journey through educational and enjoyable sites that will leave you in awe.

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IndigiMAP

IndigiMAP is an innovative app that invites both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous individuals to embark on a remarkable journey of discovery, delving into the vast tapestry of Indigenous languages across Turtle Island. Step into an immersive app experience where you can uncover the captivating richness of Indigenous cultures, as well as the profound historical narratives that shape the lives of the Indigenous peoples residing in Canada. Prepare to be captivated as you explore the breathtaking languages, cultures, and histories that grace this extraordinary land.

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IndigiTRAILS: Elder Quest

The Blackfoot Language Trail is a captivating in-app immersion offered through the IndigiTRAILS app. Designed to provide a unique language learning experience, this trail allows individuals to engage with the rich Blackfoot language within the vicinity of select local schools situated in Mohkinstsis.

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Indigenous Women’s Augmented Mural Series

Young Indigenous women created three murals that focused on workplace barriers, gender-based violence and civic engagement. The murals are mixed medium and contain additional content through Augmented Reality (AR). To see more, please check out the murals here

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James Story

A facilitated escape room, James’ Story is for teams of people to understand Residential Schools in a new and innovative setting, to find out more click the link below.

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Ksistsikoom (Thunder): A Video Game

This immersive virtual reality game, based on USAY's graphic novel "Ksistsikoom" (Thunder), allows players to dive into a digital world where they interact with Blackfoot language in an entertaining and enriching manner. Click here for full playthrough Visit Website

Read Thunder

Literacy Assessment

USAY wanted to better understand adult literacy levels and recommendations for improved literacy in our community, you can find out more by clicking the link below.

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Lunch Programs

On a rotating schedule, USAY provides a meal to Indigenous youth in schools throughout Calgary. The goal is to promote a sense of belonging and positive cultural connection.

Medicine Wheel Warriors

Combining art and technology, Indigenous children and youth learn about the Medicine Wheel and create superhero personas that are 3D printed into action figures with their likeness.

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Men's Group

Men's Group

A group of young Indigenous men embark on a meaningful journey to reconnect with their heritage and traditional ways. Through this experience, they learn about the historical significance and importance of their roles within their communities. Equipped with newfound knowledge and skills, they become positive role models, inspiring others and contributing to the well-being of their peers and future generations.

Moh-kins-tsis Healing Network

Allowing USAY to collaborate for greater sector and policy change throughout Calgary and Alberta.

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Moon Time Musings

Moon Time Musings

We offer this specialized educational program that focuses on traditional teachings for young women and individuals experiencing the menstrual cycle. Our participants gain insights into self-care methods, traditional medicine, and Indigenous perspectives on this important aspect of life. Additionally, we collaborate on creating "Moon time bags" to combat period poverty, providing essential hygiene and healing supplies such as tampons, pads, teas, and traditional medicines. These bags reflect our commitment to promoting the well-being and dignity of menstruating individuals.

New Tribe

Is to be an outlet for the Indigenous youth voice while promoting a positive outlook on Indigenous people living in urban settings. The magazine promotes information sharing and awareness building activities as a core foundational component.

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Niitsitapi'aakii Blackfoot Women

Niitsitapi’aakii (Blackfoot women) is a groundbreaking virtual reality project. Step into the world of Indigenous women as they reconnect with their ancestral wisdom, facing modern challenges while preserving their identity. This immersive VR film offers a powerful, visually stunning journey, reminding us of the enduring significance of cultural heritage in a changing world.

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Now Hiring

A virtual reality toolkit that supports Indigenous youth to build skills and knowledge to reduce barriers to their employment and training success. The toolkit will also include Indigenous awareness training for employers looking to improve diversity and learning within their workplaces.

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Original Laughter

In this concise documentary, Indigenous comedians from across Alberta and Canada come together to explore the significance of humor in overcoming trauma and cultivating resilience.

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Ribbon Skirts

We provide an exceptional learning opportunity for individuals who possess a strong desire to acquire the skills necessary to create their own ribbon skirt, while gaining comprehensive knowledge about its cultural significance and historical background.

STEM

STEM

We empower Indigenous youth by providing them with immersive experiences in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Through regular monthly gatherings, we equip young individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge to expand their proficiency across these disciplines, enabling them to discover their inherent abilities and explore a multitude of avenues for personal development.

Supports to non-Indigenous allies

Introducing the alliedFutures toolkit - an engaging digital resource designed to accompany you on a 5-step journey towards meaningful change: Truthful Understanding, Allyship, Accompaniment, Decolonization and Indigenization, and Reconciliation. Explore the toolkit's interactive materials and reflective content at your convenience, and complement your progress with enlightening webinars. Flexibility and empowerment are in your hands as you delve into the content at your preferred pace.

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The Beginning

A 3D layered glass sculpture which was inspired by Indigenous Elders and created by a team of Indigenous young women, currently located at the Shawnessy Public Library. See more about the Placemaking Initiative in this video.

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USAY’s Backpack Giveaway

Indigenous children and youth, pre-school to post-secondary, register to receive a backpack full of supplies, as well as attend a back-to-school celebration and health fair.

Wheels for Success Feasibility Study

A van sharing concept, in which youth serving agencies could share a van, bus or vehicle to have safe, reliable transportation for their participants (Car2Go for charities)

Writing On Stone/Sacred Teachings

Embark on a spiritual journey with "Sacred Teachings," a virtual reality tour of the newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Writing On Stone Provincial Park. This immersive experience takes you through North America's largest compilation of rock art, providing a captivating glimpse into the enchanting essence of this remarkable location. Join Elder Saakokoto and narrator Eugene Brave Rock as they share captivating stories, offering a truly unique and unparalleled opportunity.

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Youth Center

USAY is looking to rent or purchase a new space to meet our growing and expanding needs.

Help Indigenous youth, become a sponsor today!

Call us at (403) 233-8225 or visit the Contact Page to request more information.