Sparrow is a journey and experience in preparing young Indigenous leaders to become ever more self-motivated, self-directed and self-aware in exercising and unlocking their potential as Indigenous youth.
Rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and leading with adventure-based learning
Youth, 13-18 years of age, are welcome to enroll in Sparrow Indigenous Youth Leadership
Fireside’s Sparrow Indigenous Youth Leadership courses were piloted in 2019, bringing Indigenous youth together with a unique outdoor leadership and cultural training course. Sparrow incorporates STEM learning, environmental education, outdoor adventure, leadership training, cultural, traditional and experiential based learning to help our youth become more self-motivated and confident.
Sparrow Sisters (June 27-July 17, 2020) welcomes young Indigenous women to develop their outdoor leadership skills and enjoy the traditional territory of the Penlekut of Galiano Island and Sechelt First Nations. We visit Victoria, and stay two nights at UVIC residence, a day trip to Vancouver and explore the lands and oceans of the Sunshine Coast. Sparrow Sisters is in partnership with School District 22 (Vernon) Aboriginal Education Department for 2020. The Sparrow Sisters work closely with our Indigenous female instructors in developing cultural knowledge, land base wellness practices, environmental and climate change education, outdoor leadership skills and positive personal identity. Starting at Fireside’s Home Place on Galiano Island, the sisters will paddle board, bike tour and work closely with Galiano Island Conservancy. While in Victoria for two nights they will stay at UVIC, tour the city, and meet Indigenous, municipal and provincial leaders at the BC Legislative Assembly as part of their training in advocacy, social justice and governance. The wilderness journey is held in Sechelt Inlet where the Sisters hike the alpines of the Tetrahedron Provincial Park and paddle the ocean shorelines of Sechelt Inlet. Connecting with Sechelt First Nation, the Sisters will partake in a tour of the community and meet with elders and local youth. A graduating ceremony is held on the last night to celebrate the completion of the course and to acknowledge each of girl’s three week journey.
If you would like to create a Sparrow Sister Course for your school community please contact us
Sparrow Leaders Course (July 23 –August 12, 2020) is accepting co-ed Indigenous youth leadership candidates seeking an experience within the awe-inspiring nature of both British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Sparrow Leaders will bring Indigenous youth from across turtle island (Canada) together to approach leadership through an Indigenous and holistic lens. Youth will visit and stay at Fireside’s “Homeplace” on Galiano Island (Penlekut), visit Whitehorse (Kwanlin Dun), spend a few days at Fort Selkirk (Fort Selkirk) and explore Dawson City (Tr’ondek Hwechin). Leaders will also put their new outdoor and cultural awareness skills to the test while canoeing down the Yukon River, developing teamwork, endurance and a love for our beautiful environment.
Sparrow Sisters Course Details:Date: June 27-July 17, 2020
Ages: 13 to 18 (female only)
Rate: $3,399.00 CDN plus 5% tax (BC only)
Sparrow Leaders Course Details:Date: July 23 – August 12, 2020
Ages: 13 to 17
Rate: $3,959.00 CDN plus 5% tax (BC & Yukon)
Deposit: $550.00 (required to secure registration).Includes: Pre-camp assessment and contact, 24/7 supervision, instruction and support, food, accommodation, group camping gear, camping fees and land transportation. Sparrow Leaders course includes return flight between Vancouver and Whitehorse.
Sparrow Friends: UBC Geering Up, Vernon School District, SOS Children’s Village British Columbia and Galiano Island Conservancy
Register for Sparrow Leaders now to start your adventure!
Sparrow Sisters and Sparrow Leaders participate, learn and grow through unique strength-based pillars influencing and informing their outdoor and cultural-based leadership experience including, but not limited to:
Sparrow’s Indigenous Roots - developing positive personal identity, family, culture and language, traditional knowledge
Land and Water - expedition base, exploration, outdoor skills
Environmental Education - knowledge and practices focused on addressing climate change, sustainable travel and Indigenous ways of knowing
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
Education and Employment - fostering new skills and relationships, participants are supported and connected with post secondary education and direct employment opportunities
STEM - land-based and classroom learning on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with our partner UBC Geering Up
Our journeys take youth through some of the best locations in British Columbia and Yukon. We offer a small group (average 10 to 14 youth), culturally and skills focused while supported by Indigenous and non-Indigenous instructors.
Sparrow Indigenous Youth Leaders and Sisters Course, Highlights:
- Travel between BC and Yukon (flights included for Sparrow Leaders)
- Environmental and climate change education and outdoor leadership training
- Canoeing and outdoor wilderness skill training while travelling down the Yukon River and/or exploring the Sechelt Inlet (ocean and river paddling, campsite selection, equipment overview, alpine hiking, orienteering, shelter & fire building, 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 experienced instructors
- STEM activities with principles to be applied in the wilderness journey and within their community
- Cultural Connections and Teachings:
- Coast Salish and Fort Selkirk people (Yukon and BC)
- 7 Sacred Teachings
- Understanding the various medicine wheels (across the country)
- Traditional land and waters of British Columbia and Yukon
- Acknowledgements and welcoming protocols
- Smudging & cedar brushing
- Paddle carving
- 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)
- Much more
Learn more about our past Indigenous leadership initiative - Windspeaker 2014-2016
Register for Sparrow Leaders now to start your adventure!
Lenaya - Sparrow Leader Guide & Coordinator
I am a Nlaka’ paumx woman who works, lives, learns and plays within Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh territories. I joined Sparrow to help youth and young adults connect with their roots and potential by experiencing the benefits of outdoor education and Indigenous leadership training. First as an Indigenous youth now as a teacher candidate in UBC’S NITEP program, I have personally experienced and developed from the benefits of strength-based and experiential leadership courses like Sparrow.
For the past 8 years, I have grown immensely from being a camper, intern and, now, staff with Fireside Adventures. Throughout all my life experiences, I have witnessed the positive impacts of children and youth rediscovering themselves as they develop a stronger sense of resiliency and positive personal identity when reconnecting with the land and accepting the support from others.
As Indigenous people, we are dynamic, resourceful, driven and much more. My "Indigenous Roots" are nurtured by my values of family, community building, personal development and following traditional teachings. I look forward to being your instructor and a positive character in your story this summer as you join Sparrow.
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 to ways of knowing and being.
For the past 15 years, I have been a Child and Youth Care Worker and Outdoor Educator in various settings such as schools, youth centres, places of care and outdoor recreation. During this time, I have seen how providing an opportunity for youth to connect with Ashkaakamigokwe (Mother Earth), they 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). I am 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.
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.
Register for Sparrow Leaders now to start your adventure!
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.