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A Conference You Won’t Want to Miss!

 August 4, 2016
Posted by NWT Recreation and Parks Association


Registration is now open for the NWTRPA and Youth Centres Conference 2016!

The 2016 NWTRPA and Youth Centres Conference will have five streams: Leadership, Youth, Elders in Motion, On the Land (OTL) and Recreation.

When: September 27 – 29, 2016

Where: Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife

Who: Health care workers, elders, educators, youth centre workers, recreation leaders and NWTRPA members.

Click here for the official conference page 

Click here for the official program (PDF)

Click here to register

*Note: If you are having trouble registering, update your browser or switch to a different browser. If this does not solve the problem fax a physical version of the form to (867) 669-6791.

NOTE: The following information is subject to change

2016 Conference-at-a-Glance

Tuesday, September 27th , 2016

9:00AM-10:30AM – PLENARY

  • Opening Prayer
  • Welcome & Introductions


LEADERSHIP: Recreation Leadership From the Inside Out

SPEAKER: Brenda Herchmer

Ensuring recreation staff and volunteers have the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to promote individual, community, and environmental wellbeing through recreation is more important than ever. Participants will be introduced to a self-assessment tool reflecting the foundational competencies essential for the development of individual learning plans, mentoring emerging leaders, determining training priorities etc.

Note: Participants in this session will be eligible for free enrollment in the recreation training and certification being developed by the Tri-Territorial Recreation initiative and the funding made possible by the Arctic Inspiration Prize.

YOUTH: Hope’s Garden – How to Start a Community Garden

SPEAKER: Christine Barker

Looking for an interesting youth project? Community gardening is a healthy, inexpensive activity for youth, bringing them closer to nature, and allowing them to interact with each other in a socially meaningful and physically productive way.

ELDERS: On the Move at 90

SPEAKER: Barb Hood, NWT Seniors’ Society

Research shows that the fastest growing demographic in the NWT is the older adult. Learn about aging, what it looks like in the NWT and how we can change attitudes and have the power to be “On the move at 90”.

OTL: Other Stories From the Land

SPEAKERS: Peyton Straker, Jimmy Ruttan

Increasingly, the people with whom we work as OTL leaders have limited experience on the land. In some cases, they have no connection at all. In this session, panelists from diverse backgrounds will reflect on the complexities and messiness of their relationship to the land.

RECREATION: Weigh Loss Tricks… Are They Too Good To Be True?

SPEAKERS: Tammy Buchanan

Many people try all sorts of things and spend all kinds of money in order to lose weight. Join us as we uncover the activities that actually work!  You may be surprised at some of the research findings.


LEADERSHIP: Waterfront Risk Management

SPEAKER: Kelly Carter, Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories Branch

Natural bodies of water account for the majority of drownings in Canada. Attend this session to increase your awareness of the drowning problem and learn about the layers of protection to enhance waterfront safety. We will review each layer in detail including site layout, signage, public education, emergency response, and supervision. Participants will have valuable resources identified for them to reference following the session.

Note: It is planned that this session will begin at 12:30 pm and be presented at a Yellowknife waterfront location, please dress accordingly

YOUTH: Creating Inclusive and Safe Youth Spaces

SPEAKERS: Jacq Brasseur and Chelsea Thacker

Do you operate a youth centre or recreation centre for youth and are looking for innovative and creative ways to make your spaces inclusive and safe for all youth? Join Jacq Brasseur (Co-Chair of It Gets Better Yellowknife) and Chelsea Thacker (Youth in Transition Navigator at SideDoor Resource Centre for YOUth) to explore activities and approaches that will encourage inclusion and safe youth spaces.

ELDERS: Indoor Curling Without Ice and Walking Bingo

SPEAKER: Melissa Sangris & Charlene Sundberg, YKDFN

A part of this fun session has been brought back by popular demand from the 2015 Elders in Motion Training gathering. Come ready to participate in one of the most inclusive games in the world. Learn how to organize and play indoor curling. Walking bingo will also be a part of this session.

OTL: Linking Land and Language

SPEAKER: Violet Jumbo and Dhati Tsetso

This session will explore the intersections of language revitalization and land-based programs.

RECREATION: Physical Literacy Assessment 101

SPEAKER: Stacey Alpous, Research Coordinator, The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO)

The goal of this session is to provide attendees with an overview of physical literacy and introduce the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL). Attendees will be provided with a brief history of how the CAPL was developed and why it is a valid and reliable assessment of physical literacy for children 8 to 12 years of age. Attendees will also learn the benefits of using the CAPL within their program, including how assessment results can enhance program delivery.

2:30PM-3:45PM – SESSION #3


SPEAKER: Tim Fox, Manager of Indigenous Initiatives & Whitney Ogle, Program Coordinator Aboriginal Services, Boys and Girls Club Calgary

Our session will provide context into some of the challenges experienced by Indigenous communities through our own lived experience, interactive video clips and an exercise using play-doh. This context framing is important for participants to understand why there is such a need for Indigenous specific support such as high five. A brief overview of how the Indigenous version of high five will be shared as well as parallels into some of the healing work that is already underway within our programs. Specific modifications to the current high five training and adaptations will also be presented beginning and ending with a facilitated sharing circle and smudge ceremony.

YOUTH: Youth as Leaders – Youth Ambassadors and Award Programs

SPEAKER: Robyn Webster and Dawn Moses

This session will explore leadership and awards opportunities for youth. Dawn Moses (Youth and Volunteer Program Officer
at Sport, Recreation and Youth) will talk about the Youth Ambassador program which features a guided and structured volunteer experience for NWT youth at major events to develop significant life and job skills and build the confidence necessary for NWT youth to deal with many of the complex challenges in modern society. Also hear from Robyn Webster (Award Officer at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards) will talk about an international award designed to equip youth with life skills that will make a difference to themselves, their community and the world.

ELDERS: Injury Prevention and Everyday Living

SPEAKER: Tammy Buchanan

As we age, we all hope to keep doing the things we love to do.  Join us for an active session as we look at different ways to continue with a quality to life that includes being active and living life to the fullest!

OTL: Working In, But Outside the Box

SPEAKERS: Jessie Mackenzie, Jordan Asels

This panel discussion will showcase individuals who are doing culturally relevant land-based programming in Western institutions (e.g. schools, jails, health, etc.).

RECREATION: Putting Physical Literacy within REACH (Recreation, Education, Allied health, Coaching, Healthcare):

SPEAKERS: Stacey Alpous, Research Coordinator, The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO)

Sometimes it may be easier to screen the children in their program for physical literacy deficits and only use the CAPL with children who are struggling on their physical literacy journey. During this interactive session, attendees will learn how to administer quick and easy physical literacy screening tasks that, in less than five minutes, will enable leaders to identify the children who are most like to be struggling on their physical literacy journey.


Wednesday, September 28th , 2016

9:00AM-10:30AM – PLENARY:

Land-Based Education Changes Everything

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Erin Freeland-Ballantyne & Jessie Mackenzie

10:45AM-12:00PM – SESSION #4


Come learn about three unique research and development projects taking place in the NWT:

  • Boating Safety Research Project
    In 2014, the NWTRPA received a grant from Transport Canada’s Office for Boating Safety to do research about men and boat safety.
  • Healthy Living Inventory
    The Working Together to Achieve Healthier Lifestyles in NWT Communities project has compiled information on Healthy Eating and Active Living programs in NWT communities.

SPEAKERS: Katelyn Friendship, AICBR; Audrey Giles, UofO; Candice Lys, FOXY

YOUTH: Filling in the Gaps – Youth Experiencing Homelessness

SPEAKER: Amanda Price and Emily MacKiddie

The number of youth experiencing homelessness is increasing and the north is no exception.  Are there youth in your community who are experiencing homelessness? Do you ever wonder what you can do? Join Amanda Price and Emily MacKiddie (Youth in Transition Navigators at SideDoor) to continue the conversation and share strategies on preventing, reducing and ending youth homelessness in northern communities.

ELDERS: Eating and Nutrition for Healthy Aging

SPEAKER: Audra Donison, RD & Faye Seymour, RD

Our nutritional needs change as we age. In this session we will cover the nutritional needs of elders and how what we eat can help prevent various age- related health conditions including osteoporosis, malnutrition, and others. We will also look at the “why” we eat – not just for basic nutrition but for other factors including pleasure and social and cultural reasons. There will be opportunity to participate in food preparation and/or taste-testing of dishes.

OTL: Caring and Supportive Programming

SPEAKER: Wendy Lahey

Being on the land can be a positive, transformative experience. However, this requires that programs are not just physically safe, but also emotionally safe for participants and staff. This session will explore best practices for creating caring and supportive spaces on the land.

RECREATION: Planning for Community Recreation

SPEAKER: Brenda Herchmer

So many options and yet rarely enough time and money! The reality is that recreation includes a wide range of formal and informal activities and programs that incorporate, physical as well as more passive initiatives, sport, arts, dance, fitness, cultural and heritage activities, events, and festivals. This session will provide participants with a process and a community scanning tool that will help to plan and prioritize recreation that is community-driven and outcome or benefits-based.

Note: This session is sponsored in part by the Tri-Territorial Recreation initiative and the funding made possible by the Arctic Inspiration Prize.


Spruce Gum Harvest and Salve Making

In this activity, participants will get outside to learn how to identify and harvest spruce gum. They will then learn how to make a healing salve from spruce gum and coconut oil.

HIGH FIVE® Presents Kids Games

Are you interested in expanding your repertoire of games, crafts and other fun things to do with the children that attend your programs? Come play games, craft & have fun in this session. You will have tons of take a-ways. Plus, hear from other HIGH FIVE® trainers throughout the NWT.

Community Garden Tour – Hope’s Haven and Mildred Hall School

Take a scenic stroll in the heart of downtown Yellowknife (with Ecology North and SideDoor Staff) and tour two community gardens constructed and maintained by youth and volunteers.

Excursion to B. Dene Cultural Camp

Spend the afternoon with Bobby Drygeese of B. Dene Adventures at his camp located outside of Dettah. The setting is relaxing and quiet. Learn how the Dene depended for survival on the use of local plants, water, and environment. Combining the Traditional knowledge and western knowledge leads to a broader understanding of the connections between all things.


Thursday, September 29th , 2016

9:00AM-10:30AM – PLENARY

Bright Spots

Organizations often focus on what isn’t working. Bright Spots turn our attention to what organizations and communities are doing well. They celebrate innovation and success. Participants will hear about four programs making a difference in NWT communities, from how they got their start to tips for success.

10:45AM-12:00PM – SESSION #5

LEADERSHIP: Framing the Future of Recreation in the NWT

SPEAKER: Brenda Herchmer

Many of those who work or volunteer in recreation were first attracted to the field because they wanted to make a difference. Learn more about the new National Framework for Recreation that reinforces that thinking by suggesting there is more we can do to ensure citizens have access to meaningful, accessible recreation experiences that contribute to happier, healthier, and stronger individuals and communities.

Note: This session is sponsored in part by the Tri-Territorial Recreation initiative and the funding made possible by the Arctic Inspiration Prize.

YOUTH: Active Youth – Funding Opportunities

SPEAKERS: Melanie Kornacki and Wilma Dolores

Are you a recreation/youth or leader in your community? Do you have great ideas about youth recreational programming, but lack the financial resources to purchase sporting equipment or services (including instructors)? Melanie Kornacki (Marketing & Communications Coordinator
at Sport North | KidSport NWT) will discuss programs and funding opportunities through Sport North and Wilma Dolores (Office Assistant at Canadian Tire) will introduce you to the Canadian Tire JumpStart Program and how to access that funding for individual youth or team activities.

ELDERS: Seeing is Believing

SPEAKER: Mabel Wong, RD, CDE, BSc & Sandra Mann, BScPT

Falls are the major reason for injury-related hospitalizations of older adults in the NWT. Vision plays an important role in preventing falls. Presenters for this hands-on session will share practical tips for keeping eyes healthy and how to make programs user friendly for people with common vision problems. This session will also introduce participants to a new vision screening tool that can be used by anyone, at any time, and anywhere.

OTL: Evaluating On the Land Programs

SPEAKER: William Trousdale

In order to make a political and financial case for OTL programming, we need to be able to communicate the successes of our programs to politicians and funders. Evaluation is also important for ensuring that our programs are meeting the needs of participants and staff. In this session, we will explore how to evaluate programs in a meaningful way.

RECREATION: Physical Literacy as a Tool for Promoting Girls’ Health and Wellbeing

SPEAKERS: Chris Fenlon-MacDonald, Provincial Education Coordinator, Ever Active Schools

41% of girls between the ages of 3-17 don’t participate in sport and physical activity. Join Ever Active Schools as we explore strategies to promote the health and well being of girls in the gymnasium and beyond. Young girls, particularly those in elementary settings, can be at risk of losing interest in physical activity at an important time in their lives. Many sectors have the ability to positively contribute to the unique needs and experiences that promote an optimal setting for girls’ engagement and success; let’s come together to experience how.

1:00PM-3:30PM – PLENARY

Working Together and Conference Closing