150+ Canadians Day 56: Katimavik

Katimavik contributes to peace by building connections and understanding between youth from coast to coast to coast.

Katimavik provided life-changing experiences for over 30,000 Canadian youth from 1977 until 2012 when its core programming was shut down by the Harper government.

In its original form, Katimavik provided opportunities for teams of Canadian youth to live together and do volunteer work in three different Canadian communities across the country (including a large city, a rural setting and at least one Francophone community). Upon completion of the program, youth were rewarded an honorarium of $1000* in appreciation for their work (*honorarium as of 2003).

Today, Katimavik delivers two programs:

One is Indigenous Youth in Transition, designed for 18 to 30 year olds. Katimavik partners with indigenous communities and their youth to develop programming that meets the aspirations of their young women and men and the goals of the community. Participants learn through a combination of volunteer employment in community organizations, the pursuit of academic goals, civic engagement projects, and the strengthening of their language and culture.

The second is Eco-Internship. Eco-Internships provide a unique opportunity for youth aged 18-30 to intern for three months within environmental organizations in Quebec. Eco-volunteers partner with various non-profit or public organizations to develop community projects that meet the environmental needs of the community and hone their skills as future environmental leaders.

Katimavik leaders are meeting with the current Trudeau government with the goal of resuming its core program. Features will include: shared, self-supporting housing that is inclusive diverse and respectful; reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous youth; opportunities to be bilingual; development of citizenship and 21st century competencies; environmental literacy; experiential learning in an active lifestyle.

Supporters of Katimavik are invited to contribute to the ‘Katimavik Launch’ fund to help engage youth and communities on important issues like reconciliation, gender equity, eco-stewardship and multi-culturalism.  https://katimavik.org/en/donate/

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