The Need                                                                

Native youth are the fastest growing population in Canada; they represent almost 60% of the oveall Native population, and the 2006 Canadian Census shows that 60% of the Native population now lives in urban settings. 
 
Youth who are not adequately supported in their transitions - from rural communities to urban centres, from elementary to secondary school, from living with guardians to living independently, or from school to training or employment - often find themselves involved in street activities and unfortunately, sometimes in the Downtown Eastside.  Many urban Aboriginal people find a sense of belonging with Native organizations.  Our goal is to reach youth before, during, or after they have found themselves hanging out on the street or in crisis.  Other local community centres agree that there is a great need for the Native Youth Centre as their facilities are over-burdened and in some cases, Native youth do not access their programs.
  • Native youth are significantly over-represented in areas such as school dropout, incarceration, and suicide.  We are working hard to address these challenges, but we do not simply focus on the negative.  Our primary goal is to provide meaningful opportunities to youth so that they can gain the skills and confidence they need to pursue and achieve their goals.

How the NYC will  Contribute to Positive Change

Native youth have told us that the NYC will make a meaningful difference in thier lives.  They show their commitment by participating at all stages of its development, and by advocating for what they need.  To see an overview of the benefits of the NYC, click here.

The needs of urban Aboriginal youth are complex and the solutions are not simple.  The NYC will facilitate hope and change.  Based on the Circle of Courage model, our programs emphasize the principles of Belonging, Independence, Mastery and Generosity.  The vision for the NYC is to develop programs and services that meet the needs of Aboriginal youth, ensuring that they can excel, rather than fall into a circle of despair.  To view a listing of current and proposed programs that will be in the Native Youth Centre, click here.