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The City of Edmonton is currently accepting program applications to identify 60 participants for the Nikaniw Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.  
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.

This is a 2 year program.

In the first year, you can receive your Amenity Attendant, Emergency First Aid and Standard First Aid. If candidates are stronger swimmers they can challenge their Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross.

In the second year, you can receive your Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Water Safety Instructor, National Lifeguard and Aquatic Emergency Care.
Opportunities to participate in advanced aquatic certifications and other recreational leadership pursuits will be available based on individual interests and skills. Many participants have gone on to be leaders in the community and to have careers in aquatics. We offer resume building and interview skill workshops to help you become successful. 


  • Fill out the Application Form and participate in an interview with the Nîkânîw programmer
  • Indigenous Ancestry – First Nation, Métis or Inuit
  • 14-22 years old during the program season
  • Committed to training in aquatics and/or other leadership areas
  • Able to commit to regularly attending the program
Participants will receive:
  • A City of Edmonton Leisure Centre facility pass for the duration of enrollment
  • Program supplies and materials
  • A light meal each session
  • Aquatic leadership courses provided by the City of Edmonton


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

Program Fees

Once the applicant is successful in the interview, the programmer will provide the youth with a barcode for registration.

Payment will be made in two installments. The first payment will need to be made by September 10, 2017 and the second payment will need to be made by February 4, 2018. Each barcode will charge the youth $100. If additional installments need to be made, please contact the programmer.

Note:  Applicants who already possess WSI and the NL/AEC certification are ineligible for this program but may be suitable candidates for other aquatic related positions.

For More Information

Raelee Hawkes

Title Nikaniw Programmer


Fax 780-496-6910

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