Truth and Reconciliation has been a key focus for us at the YMCA of Oakville. We have partnered with other community agencies and organizations to bring a series of events and discussions on Truth and Reconciliation in Halton, focused on bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community together to build a shared understanding and a renewed relationship.
Our 2017 Peace Week was centred around Truth and Reconciliation. Kicking off the week with our Annual Candlelight Walk for Peace, we unveiled a Land Treaty Acknowledgment plaque in our front garden and heard reflections from local Indigenous Knowledge Guide Stephen Paquette and Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Our Annual Community Breakfast for Peace featured keynote speaker Gabrielle Scrimshaw, a First Nations advocate with a passion for social change. Following the Community Breakfast for Peace we held an Indigenous panel for youth from local high schools, featuring Indigenous experts on a variety of topics.
Our Youth Engagement department participated in a number of Indigenous learning experiences, including a blanket exercise open to youth in our TAG, Just the Guys, and other programs. Participants in our Counsellors in Training summer camp program visited the Woodland Centre to learn about the history of the Woodland people and life in a residential school. Later in 2018, a group of youth will be experiencing a trip to Temagami, in partnership with Appleby College, for a unique experience immersed in Indigenous culture.
This has only been the start of our journey, and on National Indigenous Peoples Day we are proud to share YMCA Canada’s Statement of Truth and Reconciliation and strengthen our dedication to Truth and Reconciliation.
There is a list of basic life skills all parents instinctively know they must teach their children to keep them safe and healthy. It includes habits like looking both ways before you cross the street, washing your hands with soap and water and eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day. For too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list; and that’s something we need to change.
Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children and the YMCA believes that learning to swim is a critical life skill. Your Oakville Y membership includes a free weekly group swim lesson – for ALL ages.
These classes are just one of the many swim programs that people from toddlers to adults take advantage of at the YMCA. Here in Oakville the Y teaches almost 2000 children and adults water safety and swimming each year. Through Splash Month, the Y hopes to further bridge gaps that prevent families from learning important water safety skills.
If children know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Instead of keeping your children away from water, help them learn fundamental water safety skills by enrolling them in swim lessons.
On Thursday, June 7 we are proud to be hosting the Halton Sport Leadership graduation ceremony for the class of 2018.
This is Oakville’s fourth group of graduates, but the first for both Burlington and Milton. Three participating schools from Oakville, two from Milton and four from Burlington identified students to participate in this alternative learning experience. These students often have barriers, such as financial strain, family concerns or academic struggles, that don’t allow them to participate in traditional sports teams or extracurriculars. Participants are equipped with certifications in how to work with children, sport-specific leadership and job readiness.
While “sport” is in the name itself, Halton Sport Leadership is so much more than a program designed to teach youth about sports. It’s skill development. It’s employability. It’s self-confidence.
Jerod Hannah, Coordinator of Youth Engagement at the YMCA of Oakville, says “The best part of the program is the relationships they build with their Community Mentors and with each other. It’s so rewarding to see them all become friends.”
The Halton Sport Leadership program is a collaborative asset-based leadership development initiative for youth that was inspired by the success of the Toronto Sport Leadership Program launched in 2005. The need to replicate the program in Halton region was realized and spearheaded by the Halton Poverty Roundtable, who were concerned about youth unemployment rates in Halton region. A steering committee was formed and the program was officially piloted in Oakville in 2014.
The program is collaborative in nature and involves a number of partners. The curriculum & program framework was developed by the YMCA of Oakville & the Town of Oakville, and the pilot project was realized because of an individual donor of the Oakville YMCA.
Halton Sport Leadership is delivered in partnership with: City of Burlington, HCDSB, HDSB, HPRT, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton, Town of Oakville, YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford, YMCA of Oakville