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Atoske Aboriginal Leadership Program a Success

Aug 22, 2014

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On Friday August 22, 2014 a parked gymnasium at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge celebrated achievements of 16 Aboriginal youth at the Atoske Saskatoon Urban Aboriginal Leadership Program closing ceremonies. Three of the participants were Métis and were sponsored by GDI: Paisley Beston, Michael Hall, and Heidi Lavallee. All were clients of GDI Training and Employment’s Sheena Yew.

Started in 2009, the Atoske program consists of an intensive two week training camp for youth ages 16-19. Graduates of the program acquire a number of certifications that help them develop various skills in preparation for labour market and post-secondary education including: First Aid/CPR, WHMIS, High Five – Principles of Health Child Development, Financial Literacy, and Coaching and Canoeing Certification. Participants also take introduction to careers in Potash Mining, Portfolio Development, as well as a trip to Blue Mountain Outdoor Adventure Centre.

Four Atoske training camps were held this year: on February 18-21, March 3-7, July 21–August 1, and August 11 – August 22. The word ‘atoske’ derives from the Cree word, which means “work.”

The program sponsors are GDI Training and Employment, the City of Saskatoon, PotashCorp, and the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Representatives of the four organizations spoke at the ceremony. They included Mayor Donald Atchison, James Ouellette of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, Leanne Bellegarde of PotashCorp, and GDI Training and Employment Director Lisa Wilson. Lisa congratulated the youngsters and hailed the partnership that has made it possible.

 

The Atoske Program is an example of how GDI is working in partnership with other stakeholders to increase opportunities for Aboriginal youth.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

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