Alberta's Future Leaders Program (AFL)

Organization Sponsor: Alberta Sport Connection


Program Description

The Alberta's Future Leaders Program (AFL) is a community and youth development program that uses sports, recreation, arts and leadership activities to provide First Nations and Métis youth with active, positive alternatives to unhealthy lifestyles. Entering into a 3 year partnership with the AFL program, partner communities host two trained Youth Mentors who run youth-focused activities and trips from May to August for 3 consecutive years. We work in five different ways: 1. Intensive Youth Mentor Training 2. Role Modeling 3. Programs, Camps and Trips 4. Leadership Camp 5. Partnerships

1.      Intensive Youth Mentor Training
Before the summer begins, youth mentors spend 8 days learining from Elders, community members and past AFL mentors about the histories, cultures and communities they will be working within. Youth mentors meet again during and after the summer to discuss best practices, address current challenges and share ideas across communities.

2.     Role Modeling
Teachers, athletes, lawyers, artists...youth mentors can come from any background.  What they all have in common is their positive attitude, active lifestyle and endless energy.  As they live and work in communities, the youth mentors build strong relationships with local youth, acting as postiive role models and inspiring youth to be thier best.

3.     Programs, Camps and Trips
From May until August, in-community Youth Mentors teach meaningful life skills through activities, special events and out-trips.  They run everything from campfires and art programs to rafting trips and hockey tournaments - whatever local youth are into.

4.     Leadership Camp
Select future leaders from each host community are brought together to share ideas and learn new skiils.  By rock climbing, canoeing and hiking together, the youth create strong friendships and develop their leadership potential.  Upon returning home, most particiants, help their local youth mentors to run programs, and many continute to serve thier communities long after the summer ends.

5.     Partnerships
We believe that investing in Alberta's youth today will create a positive tomorrow.  Our partners share this philosophy and together we create opporutnities for youth across the province to realize thier potential.

For 2014, our ALF's Community Partners are:

  • Alexander First Nation
  • Aseniwuche Winewak Nation - Grande Cache
  • Beaver First Nation
  • Boyle Street Community Services
  • Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement
  • Dene Tha' First Nation - Chateh - Assumption
  • East Prairie Métis Settlement
  • Fishing Lake Métis Settlement
  • Fort McMurray First Nation #468
  • Kikino Métis Settlement 
Funding Sources: 

AFL's Program Partners include:

  • Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • Alberta Human Services - Employment
  • Alberta Aboriginal Relations
  • Alberta Health and Wellness
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Jumpstart, Suncor Energy, Driving Force, TD,  ATCO Electric, ATCO Gas, Pembina, Talisman Energy, Canadian Natural.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The program provides a three-year funding commitment to the community at which time the community is encouraged to create and fund an ongoing position.

Impact Of Program: 

The Alberta's Future Leaders (AFL) program,has partnered with 42 First Nation and Métis communities across Alberta to create over one million participant hours of programming since 1996.

Evaluation Tools: 

To examine the AFL Program, a review was conducted of the AFL’s Ex-ecutive Summaries and a sampling of Community Final Reports from 1996 until 2005. These summaries included background information on the program, a description of the program and its goals, and synopses from program employees pertaining to their work, experiences, and suggestions for future programming.The AFL Program has shown great strength in partnering with Aboriginal communities to create youth, community, and leadership development. Yearly evauations have continued.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Promoting active, vibrant Aboriginal communities, where local sports, recreation, arts and leadership experiences inspire youth to become positive leaders.We partner with communities to provide youth ages 9-25 with new experiences, positive role models and opportunities to build confidence, overcome barriers and realize their potential.

We work with the Red Cross in implementing water safety programs. Jump start provides equipment for sports activities.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Elders are involved in the program in working with the Mentors in the community and in the three weeks of Mentor training (orientation, mid-term and final evaluation).

This summer half of the Mentors were of Aboriginal descent.

 The allocation of Mentors to specific communities varies, this is largely dependent on the community needs and requests.  Ongoing meetings are conducted with the Community and each Community assigns a community contact to liaise with the AFL program and mentors throughout the summer.

Length and Stage of Project: 

The AFL was created as a pilot project in 1996 by the Alberta Sport,Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

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