The Walking with Wisdom: Leaders Now is a project that engages Aboriginal girls from the traditional territories of the Lil’wat (Mt Currie) and N’Quatqua (D’Arcy) First Nations in leadership and community building activities. Funded by Status of Women Canada, Walking with Wisdom seeks to address the under-representation of girls and women in leadership roles in their communities and engage and excite them in girl-led, action-oriented community based projects that take a participatory solutions-based approach to addressing and identifying key activities and interventions that address barriers by drawing on VIDEA’s extensive experience with creating knowledge of gender equity, mentoring and teaching youth. In addition to VIDEA’s connections with Aboriginal communities and resources, this project provides leadership opportunities for girls to engage their peers, work as a team, build confidence, develop leadership skills, foster digital skills and explore Indigenous and other forms of community engagement and leadership.
Walking with Wisdom grew out of our Aboriginal Internship programme (IAYI), which provided opportunities for 10 BC and Aboriginal youth to work with VIDEA partners in Zambia and Uganda. Tashayna Peters, who was placed at the Justice for Women and Orphans Project in Lusaka, Zambia, went on to become VIDEA’s project coordinator for this leadership project which is based in her traditional territory. Youth leadership and mentorship are key components of our work at VIDEA. Because of this, workshop facilitators have been able to being their own professional skills into this project to support have included other VIDEA Youth and Aboriginal Internship Alumni who have worked with the girls to build gender equity knowledge, public speaking and leadership skills, photography and video skills, and have made trips and seminars possible by acting as chaperones, mentors and supporters.