Yellowknife’s branch of CBYF held an open house last week for Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe, which focuses on youth who aren’t currently in education, employment or training.
CBYF says Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe will make a difference through the creation of a youth culture committee, the hosting of campfire chats immersed in arts and culture, and a “multiple intelligences human library and art event” – a gathering based on multiple intelligences theory where people can share stories or art. The library is in effect the people, and each story they share is a book.
Events and activities will run throughout the summer.
Earlier this year, CBYF ran a contest open to local youth under 30 to create a logo for the project. Thursday’s open house revealed the chosen logo and also involved canoe tours through Yellowknife Bay alongside collaborative art activities.
CBYF project coordinator Narlie Dapilos says Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe will essentially act as a network for youth and organizations.
“Everything is all about collaboration, working together and really focusing art-space methods to really bring everyone together,” Dapilos told Cabin Radio.
“We had about 19 submissions that youth and adults voted for,” he said of the logo contest, “and the winner created an amazing logo that really represents what we want this initiative to be about.”
Charlotte Upton, an NWT Literacy Council youth coordinator, says the open house helped Yellowknife youth organizations to learn about one another and the supports offered in the community.
She hopes CBYF’s new project will foster more collaboration.
“Sometimes, things can be really siloed,” Upton said.
“There are groups in town doing really great work, maybe similar work, that can really benefit from partnering together.”
Having just moved to the city from Ontario, Steph Woodworth – a youth and project director at Northern Youth Leadership – said the day left them feeling hopeful about the community in Yellowknife.
“It’s so nice to connect with other youth who are focused on youth programming, and to be out on the water and eating great food,” they said.
“Events like this are really important to connect us together, to create a space where we feel safe, seen and heard, and to help create spaces for us to exist as ourselves.”