Gathering Our Voices – Youth Conference

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres along with the Provincial Aboriginal Youth Council (BCAAFC – PAYC) hosted the Gathering Our Voices 2016 Youth Conference on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen people.

From March 21st through 24th, GOV brought together 2000 youth delegates as well as chaperones, presenters, and guests in Victoria, BC. Young people from all across B.C. and across Canada came to participate, explore, learn and to engage with culture among peers.

The Aboriginal Sport, Recreation, and Physical Activity Partners Council facilitated a wide variety of workshops under the Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities umbrella. Highlights included:

  • Food Is Medicine, with delegates participating in traditional plant knowledge, identification, harvest, and cooking.
  • Women’s Sacred Journey , where young women participated in the sharing by elders of traditional knowledge around healthy pregnancies and the experiences, challenges and rewards of motherhood, as well as information on modern resources for young mothers.
  • Get to the Next Level, which had college athlete facilitators sharing life experiences and secrets of their training and preparation for high-performance sport and study.
  • Physical Activity workshops included Jiu Jitsu sessions,  Harbour Kayaking in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and six regular FitNation sessions. A special FitNation session featuring Tish Diamond, Dwayne Roberts, and several Regional FitNation leaders was created for the first ever GOV-Nike N7 Move Moment, with over 900 Aboriginal youth in the colors of the medicine wheel coming together on the Provincial Legislature lawn to show unity through physical activity.

The 2017 Gathering Our Voices conference will be held in Kelowna, BC.