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How to Get Support if You’re an Indigenous Youth

Are you a young Indigenous person entering into adult life? If you’ve been in provincial care, supports are available to help you achieve success.

Change can seem scary if you’re not sure of what will happen or what you need to do. But you can reach out to many different organizations and programs.

Indigenous-led agencies

A number of Indigenous-led organizations can offer you everything from workshops and healing circles to childcare and guidance. For example:

The Red Road Healing Society works to remove the barriers of generational trauma. They provide professional services for Indigenous people, by Indigenous people. Check out their youth programs that include different cultural perspectives and practices.

Native Counselling Services of Alberta helps you reclaim your sense of cultural connection, heal damaged relationships, set a course for your life, and follow through with it. Programs and services include youth housing and help for at-risk youth.

Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association provides programs and services for urban Indigenous people. A youth & Elders gathering and a Rise Up program aim to empower Indigenous youth living in urban areas.

The following sites feature links to Indigenous agencies and programs in your area:

  • At 211 Alberta, click on the Indigenous People icon. You can find out about financial assistance, Indigenous health circles, friendship centres, and more. You may find more under other icons, such as Health or LGBTQ2S+.
  • informAlberta.ca has a keyword search bar where you can search for Indigenous programs. Try using different keywords like “Indigenous,” “Aboriginal,” “First Nations,” “Métis,” “Inuit,” or the name of your band or community to find all of the programs open to you.

Don’t forget to reach out to your band office or nation to learn what programs and services they offer.

If you’ve been in provincial care

There may be other supports and resources to help you start living on your own. This may be a good time to talk to your caseworker.

  • Don’t remember your caseworker’s name? Call the office where you used to go.
  • Live in a different town or region? Find your local office.

Online help

A good place to start is the Resources for Indigenous Peoples page, where you’ll find links to information and services from across the province.

Another good resource is this set of inspiring videos of Indigenous people studying, working, and pursuing their careers.

For stories about Indigenous youth, use the Connections app, including its Culture and Spirituality stories. Here you can learn about connecting with an Elder or growing up in a non-Indigenous foster home.

For specific topics, check these out:

Getting ready for adulthood

Going to school

Finding work

Looking after your health

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