Randy stands in his traditional beaded vest in Calgary

As a young person, I was lucky enough to have had amazing teachers who molded me, guided me, and prepared me for the journey I am on. The knowledge and wisdom they shared with me has shaped me into the person I am.

Today, there are Indigenous youth in our city who have been impacted by the dark period of our history. While they belong to a long line of survivors – resilient people who were proud of their spirituality – many have also lost their connection to our rich history and culture. This has impacted their families.

As a knowledge keeper, I feel it is my responsibility to share positive aspects of our history and our people, the beauty of our way of life, the purpose behind it. Now that I'm in the position to share what I've learned, I use every opportunity I have to connect with young people, to support them as they gain the skills and confidence they need to become leaders.

Natoo’si, United Way’s Indigenous Healing and Well-Being Initiative, supports youth and their families in their healing process. It provides young people with the tools they need to heal, and to succeed in school and in life. Once they begin the healing process, they feel good about themselves. And when youth feel good about themselves, they start to contribute to their community. I believe the holistic approach that Natoo’si takes has a real impact on not only our youth or their families, but on our communities as well.


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