Sparrow Leadership Initiative
Indigenous Youth Matter
Fireside’s Sparrow Leadership Initiative is a 2019 pilot project bringing Indigenous youth together to participate in a unique 27-day leadership training initiative. These Indigenous youth leaders will participate, learn and grow from unique strength-based pillars influencing and informing their leadership experience:
- Sparrow Roots (developing positive personal identity, family, culture and language, traditional knowledge).
- Land and Water (expedition base, exploration, outdoor skills).
- Leading and Developing (leadership skills, family and social systems, visioning and decision making).
- Giving and Sharing (wellness practices, solo experience, journaling, paddle making, carving and mentoring circle).
Sparrow Leadership Initiative is specifically for Indigenous youth from across Canada seeking an inclusive and supportive outdoor youth leadership and cultural training experience. Our experiences take youth through some of the best locations in British Columbia and Yukon. We are small group (10 to 14 youth) focused and mobile (visiting various locations around BC) supported by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous instructors.
Program DetailsDate: July 21 to August 17, 2019.
Ages: 13 to 17 (Co-ed)
Rate: $4,399.00 CDN plus 5% tax
Deposit: $350.00 (required to secure registration).Includes: Pre-camp assessment and contact, 24/7 supervision, instruction and support, food, accommodation, group camping gear, camping fees and transportation while on trip including return flight between Vancouver and Whitehorse. Does not include international and national flights to Vancouver and some optional activities.
It's a Life-Changing Experience
Sparrow Initiative is a leadership camp and expedition journey preparing Indigenous youth leaders in becoming self-propelled, self-directed and self-aware of exercising and expressing their potential.
“When you know who you are;
when your mission is clear and you
burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will;
no cold can touch your heart;
no deluge can dampen your purpose.
You know that you are alive.”
- Chief Seattle
Outdoor Experiential and Expedition Highlights:
Travel between BC and Yukon (flight included)
Canoeing and outdoor wilderness skill training as the group travels down the Yukon River and explores Sechelt Inlet (specifically ocean and river paddling, campsite selection, overview of equipment, hiking, orienteering, shelter & fire building, risk management, meal planning and risk management
Participating in a safe environment for sharing, giving, growing and learning
Creating positive personal identity and utilizing strength based learning approaches
Leadership, life and social training and support by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous instructors
Youth on the land and water while taking time away from home/community to foster new skills and insights with developing their leadership potential
Cultural Connections and Teachings:
Coast Salish and Fort Selkirk people (Yukon and BC)
Understanding the various medicine wheels (across the country)
Traditional land and waters of British Columbia and the Yukon.
Acknowledgements and welcoming protocols
Smudging & cedar brushing
Songs and stories including stories about the Sparrow(s)
Making individual medicine pouches and rattle makers
Martin Brokenleg's Circle of Courage Model
First People's Principles of Learning
Solo (supportive 48 hour solo experience for youth to reflect and connect)
Submit a “We Matter” video for end of the trip
Past Indigenous Leadership Initiative: Windspeaker 2014-2016
It's a Life-Changing Experience
SafetyRegardless of a participant ’s level of comfort and outdoor skills, it is safer to travel in a group and it is much safer to have an experienced instructor supporting them. Our team always prioritizes planning, preparing, and most importantly, teaching participants how to be safe in the wilderness.
FoodA well-nourished body makes a significant impact on a person’s experience in times of physical and/or mental exertion. Participants will learn how to pack and prepare healthy and holistic meals in our camp kitchens, suited for all diets.
Fitness CapacitiesIf you are concerned about yours or your child’s physical readiness to attend one of our Fireside camps/expeditions, please contact us directly. We modify our experiences based on the participants’ abilities and capacities. Relax and let us work together to make an informed and shared decision.
We do our best to understand the present and future impacts of climate change. We provide thoughtful discussions and rationale of why we all must do our best to minimize our carbon use including ways to reduce food waste, non-recyclable materials and more. We take public transit or walk as much as possible, and respect nature by reducing our ecological footprints.
Indigenous PeopleWe acknowledge that we are visitors of the traditional lands of Indigenous People. We ask permission to visit and explore their lands while also inviting local First Nations to participate in our camps, share their knowledge and provide a space to collaborate. Fireside Adventures recognizes the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Small Group Focused & MobileWe purposely place restrictions on group size (minimum 8 and maximum 15) of participants as believe less means more for providing an enriched and meaningful experience for each participant. We are not defined by one permanent location as we are rooted in the belief that adventure and learning come from exploring the lands and water around us.
Place and Inquiry Based
All of our selected locations for our camps and expeditions are purposely chosen to provide a platform for inquiry and experiential learning, to learn through the natural world and its significance in relation to culture, geography, history, people and environment.
Social and Emotional LearningWe create a safe place so participants can develop and enhance their resiliency, independence and self-efficacy. We weave learning opportunities throughout our programs for participants to improve the skills necessary to manage and understand their emotions and their relationships.
We are inclusive of all genders, races, cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and capacities. Those who arrive on the first day of the camp/expedition are important characters of the shared experienced that is to begin. It is a privilege to be the characters in each other's stories and experiences, not our right.
Toni - Lead Sparrow Guide
I am proud Anishinaabekwe (Anishinaabe Woman) from Sagkeeng Manitoba and presently living as a guest on the beautiful Coast-Salish Territory in BC. Nimiigewechwindam (I’m feeling grateful). I joined Sparrow to share the importance of connecting our C.O.E.E (Cultural and Outdoor Experiential Education) with our Indigenous youth to develop their positive personal identity through strength based approaches ways of knowing and being.
For the past 15 years I have been a Child and Youth Care Worker and Outdoor Educator various settings such as schools, youth centres, places of care and outdoor recreation. During this time, I have seen how when you provide an opportunity for youth to connect with Ashkaakamigokwe (Mother Earth), youth tap into their personal resilience, strengths and gifts. It is an honour to lead and be apart of your youth’s journey and witness their growth.
I value the Seven Sacred traditional teachings (love, respect, truth, honest, courage, humility and wisdom), passionate about canoeing and creating spaces for spiritual and personal growth and connection. Bimaadiziwin (good life) is something I will do my best to offer your son/daughter.
Lenaya - Sparrow Guide
I am from Nlaka'pamux First Nation where the Thompson and Fraser Rivers meet. Sparrow Indigenous Leadership Course is a fresh look on how to learn and connect with your culture, develop your outdoor skills and be on the land. You have so much potential and I want to help you connect your potential to reality.
It's a Life-Changing Experience
Yukon Facts & What to Wear
The name “Yukon” originated from the Locheux native word "Yuk-un-ah," meaning "Great River," referring to the Yukon River that flows across the territory into Alaska.
Tentative Trip Plan
DAY ONE (UBC, Vancouver)
Arrive, territorial welcoming and acknowledgement, move into UBC residence, evening activities and review personal gear.
Morning tour MOA, meet with Indigenous UBC students at longhouse, overview of Sparrow Initiative and team building activity (sailing lesson in English Bay) and evening tour of Vancouver.