Nîkânîw means “one who leads the way” in Cree. Nîkânîw combines the cultural teachings and guidance of Indigenous Elders and Leaders with an aquatic pre-employment program for Indigenous youth and includes instruction of water safety education, first aid, CPR and leadership skills. These program areas complement each other, teaching a respect for Mother Earth, and especially the element of water.
Aquatic leadership skills
Participants have 2 years to complete the program. Registration and intake happens each year in August and September. However, we do take applicants in throughout the program year on a monthly basis as space is available.
An additional year may be granted based upon eligibility and program space.
Lifesaving Society National Lifeguard/Aquatic Emergency Care (NL/AEC) or Red Cross Assistant Lifeguard
Must also provide proof of successful completion of the City of Edmonton's Strokes and Skills evaluation.
National Lifeguard and Aquatic Emergency Care (NL/AEC) Prerequisites: Age 16 and successful completion of Bronze Cross
Note: Proof of award must be provided
Fill out the Application Form and participate in an interview with the Nîkânîw programmer
Indigenous Ancestry - First Nation, Métis, Inuit or other
14-22 years old during the program season
Committed to training in aquatics
Able to commit to regularly attending the program
Participants Will Receive
A City of Edmonton Leisure Centre facility pass for the duration of enrolment
Program supplies and materials
A meal on the first session of each week
Aquatic leadership courses provided by the City of Edmonton
The Nîkânîw Programmer will provide the applicant with a barcode for registration once an interview is complete.
Enrolment into the Nîkânîw program will cost $200. This can be made into 2 separate payments: 1 made in September for $100 and 1 made in February for $100. More information regarding fees will be provided to those accepted into the program.
Note: Applicants who already possess Water Safety Instructor and the National Lifeguard/Aquatic Emergency Care certifications are ineligible for this program but may be suitable candidates for other aquatic related positions.