Planet Youth is a long-term, upstream approach originating in Iceland in 1996, to support environmental change and reduce substance misuse for youth in their community. During the development of the Planet Youth Calgary model, the Indigenous Parallel has been engaging with youth, Elders and community agencies to incorporate Indigenous protocols, processes and youth voice into services for youth.
Indigenous Youth Engagement in Planet Youth Calgary began in 2021 through collaborative discussions with youth, United Way of Calgary and Area, Miskanawah, Trellis Society, USAY, and The Social Impact Lab. Youth Wellbeing Circles were established to engage Indigenous youth, their Elders, and mentor youth (“Youth Elders”) together, over a sustained period of time in a “design lab” process. Youth Wellbeing Circles explored current issues faced by Indigenous youth, and creative solutions from an Indigenous perspective. Several Elders were consulted in the creation of the Youth Wellbeing Circles, and guided the facilitators to create parallels between Western concepts and Indigenous teachings.
Miskanawah is honored to be working closely with the United Way of Calgary and Area to develop a Planet Youth model in Calgary, to meet the unique needs of Calgary’s Indigenous youth.