How it all began
“The community’s hope is in the children” says Councilor David Masakeyash.
Bringing an indigenous perspective to working with the Firsts Nations people in Canada, iEmergence has helped in organising the camp since its inception. Valuing the wisdom of the older generation, iEmergence has worked with community leaders and mentors to help impart to the younger generation and to see the next generations empowered to be fundamental contributors to the development of their communities. The Osmosis asset based community development method is what iEmergence has continually offered to the community of Mishkeegogamang.
However, it was only in 2013 that iEmergence first co-directed the 7th year of camp with Speroway. Looking back, it is obvious that many of the original challenges have been overcome. Mish Adventures is now operated from the community school with facility, transportation, cooking and program assistance from community members who have become very good friends. The program now consists of activities such as swimming, canoeing, sports, crafts, wacky games, beach parties and theme days.
The most exciting program that has been developed is the Youth Leadership Development program. Again the challenges and expense of making this happen have been immense but well worth the effort. After three summers, there is now a group of over 30 youth whose outlook on life has been transformed and whose experiences and relationships have possibly inspired a desire to make different choices and do life in a good way. The people of Mishkeegogamang know iEmergence and its partners are committed to their children, youth and whole community. We have deep friendships, mutual respect and a desire to work together to rise up a generation who will change their community, their world and the course of Canada’s history.
What we do
We want to be part of the process of getting to this place and believe that these programs will be the catalyst for ‘inspiring change from within.”
The Muskoka Youth Leadership Week aims to target youth in Mishkeegogamang who have shown leadership potential. It is a time where the youth discover their inner strengths and build their capacities as individuals and teams who will someday lead their community.
After the leadership week in Muskoka, this core group of junior leaders joins the staff and supports the children’s summer program together with the iEmergence team and other partners.
Among the many activities included in the day camps are baking, making tie-dye shirts, playing sports, taking swimming lessons, planting seeds, going on scavenger hunts, participating in group games, and even taking a canoe trip for a day out on the land. At the end, the Mish camp traditionally wraps up with a Carnival that brings together the whole community.
In all of these fun and exciting activities, relevant discussions on themes flowing from the framework called "Circle of Courage" are interwoven. Developed by Martin Brokenleg, the framework focuses on four areas that emphasises youth development: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.
The camp aims to be a catalyst for the children to work harder in school and make good choices at home. More importantly, the camp has become a safe place for the young to find meaning in the friendships that are built and rebuilt, and discover their potential to become positive leaders in their families and community.