Indigenous Youth Outreach, Advocacy and Support

Ksísskstaki Ikamotaan: Outreach, advocacy and support for Indigenous youth ages 12-24 who are exhibiting criminal behaviour.

Only one in 10 incidents where a youth was accused of a crime happened at school during school hours or a supervised activity (Statistics Canada 2014).

Within the Ksísskstaki Ikamotaan (Beaver Survival) program, our Youth Advocates help to provide alternatives for youth who are at risk of offending or reoffending, due to difficulties they are experiencing at home, school or in the community. 

Ksísskstaki Ikamotaan: What Does it Mean?

CJHS’s Indigenous Youth Outreach program was given the name “Ksísskstaki Ikamotaan” (“Beaver Survival”) by Resident Elder, Ruby Eagle Child in October 2018. Ruby is a Blackfoot elder from the Kainai nation and has been involved with the youth program since 2016.

Ruby chose this name because the beaver is a hard worker and never gives up, even when his beaver lodge is destroyed by water, other animals, or humans. Beavers will rebuild their lodge after it has been destroyed and, each time he rebuilds, he gets better at building his home.

This is like youth. At this cycle in their lives, they are learning to rebuild over and over, because being a youth is about finding their identity and where they belong. This is a stage that they have to learn to be productive adults. They have to learn life lessons over and over, just like the beaver has to rebuild. They must learn to get better at handling let-downs and disappointments in life.

Survival, in the Blackfoot Language, means to overcome obstacles in life and to achieve success. This name is to give youth the internal motivation to continue to work hard and to overcome life’s hardships, so they can survive and be successful 
in life.

How It Works

The Youth Advocates provide one-on-one support, helping youth with:

  • Courses and classes
  • Navigating family relationships
  • Crisis resolution
  • Accessing counselling
  • Goal-setting
  • Basic needs
  • Securing affordable and safe housing
  • Cultural connections
  • Navigating the justice system and child welfare
  • Finding and maintaining employment/education
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Accessing financial support
  • Anything else the youth may need in order to have alternatives to crime

Through these supports, youth have the opportunity to re-engage with family, school and the community, and to grow into healthy, responsible adults.

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