Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (UPIP)


“The Eagle Youth Program” is dedicated to the late Norbert Thomas (Tom) Eagle.  Tom was responsible and instrumental in the development of Friendship Centres at the National, Provincial and Territorial levels.

 Tom’s passion was for youth of all ages to succeed in life.  “Mentor our youth of today and empower them to become leaders of tomorrow.”  Tom’s 40 years plus tenure within the Friendship Centre movement has brought the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre to what it is today.

Objectives of the Youth Eagle Program:

  • To increase youth engagement

  • To foster youth empowerment

  • To support youth in understanding cultural identity

  • To develop and maintain effective partnerships


Programming, Activities & Events: 

  • Youth Advisory Committee

  • Sharing Circles

  • Youth/Elder Connections

  • On the Land Camps

  • Empowerment Workshops

  • Wellness & Leadership Events 

  • Culture-based classes and workshops 

  • Educational Support

  • Volunteer Opportunities



The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is a group of youth leaders who meet on a monthly basis to integrate their voices, perspectives, and leadership skills into programming offered through the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre for youth in the community of Yellowknife.  



  • are between the ages of 14 to 24

  • are committed to attend and participate in YAC meetings

The YAC provides opportunities to…

  • contribute to improving the lives of Indigenous youth in Yellowknife 

  • increase leadership skills and experience to add to your resume

  • volunteer and contribute to the success of activities, events and programs for youth in the community

  • grow personally and professionally



 TO FIND OUT MORE PLEASE CALL (867) 873-2864 or EMAIL upip@ttopfc.com

Project: Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe

What is Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe? 

Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe is centered around empowering and engaging youth in Yellowknife to take the lead in collective action planning, decision-making and community innovation.  Mary Rose Sunberg from the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, translates “Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe” from Wıılııdeh to English to mean “we all grow together” or that “we are all connected.”  This project will utilize holistic planning methods that blend both Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge to develop of a new model that takes a strength-based approach to raise awareness of multiple intelligences and that we all have gifts to share.  Ultimately, Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe seeks to improve education, training and employment outcomes for local youth as they transition to adulthood by addressing systemic inequities at the community level that create barriers for youth.  

Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission validates the importance in helping youth answer four important questions:

  • Where do I come from?

  • Where am I going?

  • Why am I here?

  • Who am I?

Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe will give youth in our community the opportunity to explore these questions through:

  • intergenerational connections (to help answer – “Where do I come from?”)

  • a multiple intelligences human library (to help answer – “Where am I going?”)

  • youth sharing circles (to help answer – “Why am I here?”)

  • on the land and art activities (to help answer – “Who am I?”)

The decision to name this project in Wıılııdeh (the language of the Yellowknives Dene, whose traditionally territory to which this project takes place) speaks volumes in showing how the planning of this project has taken into consideration the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation. Also, Sharing Circles will provide opportunities for the community to get to know, respect and appreciate one another, which is a significant action towards reconciliation. ​


Inspiration for this project comes from:


Sharing Circles:

Sharing Circles are traditional to Indigenous communities and bring people from the community together to take turns sharing, learning and listening to each other. The Talking Stick is a special tool that gives courage to speak the truth and the power to speak from the heart.  It is a symbol of respect for the thought, stories, and individual experiences of each member participating in a circle.


Intergenerational Programming: A Toolkit for the Northwest Territories:

Intergenerational programming to be explored through this project. This specific toolkit describes intergenerational programming as “an opportunity for all generations to socialize, learn, and grow together.”  This toolkit explains why intergenerational programming is important in our northern community.  Here is a short list of benefits of intergenerational programs provided in the toolkit:


Sharing traditional ways of knowing –

 Participants can share their skills, knowledge and expertise. Positive role modeling and mentorship can happen through intergenerational activities. Bringing different groups together can also be a source of support for those involved.


Connecting through traditional language –

Connecting with each other through story-telling and sharing of traditional knowledge and language is one of the great benefits of connecting different generations.


Sharing traditional and modern ways of doing –

Younger and older people can learn from one another- teaching someone about our strengths can be empowering. Exchanging traditional with technological knowledge can help to close the gap between generations.


Strengthening family and community ties –

Bringing together people of all ages to share time and experiences together can build community participation and commitment.


Building healthy ways of living into community life –

Intergenerational programming is a chance to bring families and communities together for healthy activities. Enjoying exercise, nutritious foods, and social moments is important to developing better routines in families and community.


Addressing the myths and stereotypes behind ageism –

Intergenerational activities, done well, can create a bridge between people and help them to overcome negative or incorrect ideas about one another.


The Dene Laws:

We acknowledge that this project will take place on the traditional lands of the Yellowknives Dene and we will be guided by  teachings such as “help each other” and “pass on the teachings.” 


YouLEAD Skills Recognition Stamps Program:

This project idea was piloted in Chad, Africa and described as giving young people “access to an appropriate venue to develop their talents, benefit from training and enable them to believe more in their dreams.”  The YouLEAD program is described by a participant in the program as an opportunity for “learning how to be our own leaders.” 


In this program, stamps are markers of achievement for specific competencies earned through courses, activities and community-based learning. Young people can profile and share the stamps they earn through social networking sites and resumes. Stamps, whether as a community researcher, rights advocate or youth leader, can be useful to demonstrate skills to employers and academic institutions.


IICRD is willing to work with the Project Committee for to develop this project and review action plans and to identify activities as part of the stamping and certification process.


The following links provide more information about the impact of a program that recognizes traditional skills and learning areas needed to meaningfully support the rights and well-being of young people.


YouLEAD video: This 5-minute video highlighting the impact and 'why' of the program to recognize traditional skills. ​

Values-in-Action: This is a visual tool that was created as a result of program learning to help youth, youth workers, educators, social workers, Elders and others to think about what the learning areas needed to meaningfully support the rights and well-being of young people.​​

Humans of New York:

Humans of New York is a photo storytelling project that features interviews with people on the streets of New York City. For Project: Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe, a “Humans of New York” inspired style project in Yellowknife will engage a local NWT artist to connect with a group of youth through the Youth Sharing Circle’s and facilitate some sort of youth photo storytelling project.  This project will start conversations with diverse members of the community and share small quotes and/or stories to go along with photographs.  The direction youth take this project is up to youth!  “Photo stories” from this project will be shared in preferred ways identified by youth through social media.  In addition, an opportunity to share these “photo stories” will be presented at the Multiple Intelligences Human Library event.  The goal would be to share youth voice through arts-based leadership opportunities in the community. 


Human Library:

One of the project's key activities is a Multiple Intelligences Human Library, to which inspiration stems from both the well-developed and very impactful “Human Library” movement and the “Humans of New York” storytelling project. 


The Human Library is an international organization that uses a library analogy of lending people rather than books.  It aims to address people’s prejudices by helping them to talk to those they would not normally meet. The Multiple Intelligences Human Library would also utilize a similar library analogy of lending people rather than books to raise awareness of different possible career paths by helping youth to talk to those they would may otherwise not get to meet. The Multiple Intelligence Human Library will promote awareness and recognition of multiple intelligences and diverse career paths.

Hazhǫ Ełexè Łets’eèzhe will utilize holistic planning methods that blend both Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge. 

Youth will have the opportunity to explore their cultural and personal identities through a:

  1. Youth Project Committee

  2. Youth Sharing Circles

  3. A Multiple Intelligences Human Library Event

The Youth Sharing Circles, which incorporate a photo storytelling project will focus on the power of stories and their ability to affect our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in order to lead to improved outcomes related to education, training and/or employment. 

This project has been made possible thanks to the support of:



To be part of this project - CALL (867) 873-2864 or EMAIL upip@ttopfc.com or VISIT the Tree of Peace 


(867) 873-2864

©2018 by Tree of Peace Friendship Centre.