New Red Cross-certified youth leader building capacity

Topics: Saskatchewan, Indigenous Communities
November 09, 2020

Teenage girl giving an empty bottle to a baby dollThe long tradition of teaching babysitting and home safety programs to youth took a big step towards capacity building in one Saskatchewan First Nation in 2019-2020.
Patricia Main, a prevention worker with Flying Dust First Nation, became the first Red Cross-certified Youth Leader on a Saskatchewan First Nation, enabling her to teach the Babysitting and Stay Safe programs to youth in the community.
“It’s important to have that capacity mainly because then the community can take ownership as opposed to needing to wait on a third party to come in and deliver the training at certain times of the year," said Lesley-Anne Morley, Manager of the Indigenous Swimming & Water Safety program.
“This way the community can run the program at any time of year that suits their schedules.”
But for both Morley and Main this milestone is about much more than simply being able to teach the courses whenever needed. Instead, it’s a reflection of the change in philosophical approach the Red Cross is undergoing in Saskatchewan.
Whether the issue is emergency management or preparedness, first aid or water safety training, or the babysitting program, the move towards community engagement recognizes the expertise and strengths within a specific community and then provides any training and support needed for those community members to take the lead in the future.
Main praised this approach, saying it is empowering those in Indigenous communities to take a leadership role, something that is essential to model for youth.
“I really believe in the importance of mentorship because that was taught to me by my elders and different mentors when I was growing up... There are a lot of people within the Indigenous communities who are ready to learn and to roll with the programs,” she said.
“We are taking that ownership and being those role models.”

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Canadian Red Cross 2019-2020 Saskatchewan Report Back to the Community  
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