Cultivating Leaders with Indigenous Roots

Guest post by Devon Wong, Minerva BC

Indigenous young women are the fastest growing demographic in Canada, yet they continue to face a number of challenges and alarming statistical trends. Believing in their capacity to lead and make a profound impact on their communities – and on the whole of Canada’s economy and society – Minerva BC devised a program that would develop the confidence and resilience of BC’s young Indigenous women through the principles of outdoor leadership. Under the Combining Our Strength™ initiative, the Indigenous Roots pilot program was born.

Minerva BC

In 2017, 25 Indigenous teen girls came together for a year of leadership development using nature as their classroom. Indigenous Roots provided the girls with the opportunity to heal, connect, and grow in the unique way that only outdoor experiences could offer.

Minerva BC

From scenic paddles in traditional canoes of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, to the frenetic challenges of white water rafting, exciting outdoor adventures were planned throughout the year. Each activity was complemented by workshops in values-based leadership that reinforced each girl’s physical and emotional strengths.

Minerva BC

The outdoor programming culminated in a 21-day adventure across Vancouver Island, taking the girls by canoe and on foot to new heights of personal achievement.

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Throughout the program, the girls demonstrated tremendous leadership ability and even greater potential. All participants reported having an increased connection to themselves, to the land, and to other Indigenous girls.

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By the end of the year, the girls had a greater awareness of leadership opportunities and were more equipped to step into them.

Minerva BC

Indigenous Roots is currently recruiting participants for 2018. To learn more about how to apply, please visit the Minerva BC website at

About Minerva BC:

Minerva BC is changing the face of leadership with a movement of values-based leadership, starting their work with women. They are a registered, non-profit charitable organization that supports women and girls throughout the province to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their leadership potential. From leadership programs, to education awards, and culturally-relevant programming developed in partnership with Indigenous women, Minerva BC elevates the visibility, influence and contribution of women to change the face of leadership in BC. 

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