Bruce Power, along with Right To Play and the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, is launching a new program for Saugeen and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation youth.

The Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program is aimed at developing life skills through play-based activities, sport and recreation.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Right To Play, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and the two local First Nations to bring this program to the communities,” said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “It will help foster new leaders and bring about more community engagement among youth. The lessons learned through the program will have lasting effects in the communities and reach at-risk youth.”

Bruce Power is contributing $60,000 to fund community mentor positions, while other portions will be funded by Right To Play, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and the two communities.

“We are very excited about the Right To Play initiative,” said Saugeen First Nation Chief Randall Kahgee. “It is an excellent opportunity to promote health and wellness in our community, especially among our young people. We are appreciative of both Ontario’s and Bruce Power’s support for the program.”

The community mentors will work with young people in the community and organize sport and recreation activities. A key component of this is the Youth Leadership Program, which promotes youth engagement through leadership activities, volunteer work and relationship building with other members of the community.

Yuma Hester, the community mentor for Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, and April John, mentor for Saugeen First Nation, have recently completed the first intensive, three-day youth leadership workshop held in Brantford, and are focused on organizing their local project – an intergenerational hockey tournament in their communities on March 17.

About Right To Play

Right To Play is committed to every child’s right to play. It gives children a chance to become constructive participants in society, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social background or religion. Through games and sports, Right To Play helps create social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. For more information, visit www.righttoplay.com.