News & Events

First Nations Youth Retreat for Life Promotion: ‘Purpose’


The CAN-BIND Indigenous Program held the fourth of a 4-part event series in collaboration with Whitefish River First Nation (WFRN), the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), and the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) on March 16th and 17th. The event was centered on the theme of Purpose and included interactive workshops and activities for high-school students. The agenda included traditional knowledge sharing and the meaning of purpose, mental health peer support, art-based mental wellness activities, and the connection of water to life.

MDAO offered a peer support group exercise, where youth could learn the benefits of confiding in trusted friends when it comes to mental health. Youth leaders within the community also shared their personal journey stories.

The event included a wide variety of physical activities, science-related learning, and art-based sessions. Right to Play and Science Rendezvous contributed to the program activities, which included teambuilding trust icebreakers and a water purification activity where different groups tested the quality of various water samples. Dr. Treena Orchard from Western University also led a body mapping exercise where youth illustrated their experiences with water in connection to the body on life-sized drawings.