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Nîkânîw means “one who leads the way” in Cree. Nîkânîw combines the cultural teachings and guidance of Indigenous Elders and Leaders with the 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.

Get Involved

Are you 13-22 years old, have Indigenous ancestry and are committed to training in aquatics? Join the program to learn about Indigenous culture and aquatic based skills for employment.

Program Components

  • Aquatic leadership skills
  • Cultural teaching 
  • Life skills
  • Pre-employment workshops

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.

Program Yearly Goals

Year 1
  • Amenity Attendant/Emergency First Aid
  • Standard First Aid
    Prerequisite: Age 14 years
  • Bronze Medallion
    Prerequisite: Age 13 years or successful completion of Bronze Star
Year 2
  • Bronze Cross
    Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion
  • Red Cross Water Safety Instructor
    • Age 15, and hold 1 of the following awards: 
      • Bronze Cross
      • 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.

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
  • 13-22 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

Program Fees

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.


Clareview Community Recreation Centre

Map of 3804 139 Avenue
3804 139 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta

Clareview Nîkâniw Program Hours

Monday 5pm-8:30pm
Tuesday Program not running
Wednesday 5pm-6:30pm
Thursday Program not running
Friday Program not running
Saturday Program not running
Sunday Program not running

Mill Woods Recreation Centre

Map of 7207 28 Avenue
7207 28 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta

Mill Woods Nîkâniw Program Hours

Monday Program not running
Tuesday 5pm-8:30pm
Wednesday Program not running
Thursday 5pm-6:30pm
Friday Program not running
Saturday Program not running
Sunday Program not running

For More Information

Title Nîkânîw Programmer


Fax 780-496-6910

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