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Nîkânîw combines the cultural teachings and guidance of Indigenous Elders and Leaders with the instruction of water safety education, first aid, CPR, leadership and life skills. These program areas complement each other, teaching a respect for Mother Earth and especially the element of water.

Applicants will be able to participate in the Nikaniw Program for up to 2 years. Successful completion of the program can result in achieving one or more of the following awards: Emergency First Aid, Standard First Aid, Amenity Attendant, Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard, Aquatic Emergency Care or Water Safety Instructor.

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.

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

Payment will be paid in two installments. The first payment will need to be made by September 10 and the second payment will need to be made by February 4, 2018. Each barcode will charge the youth $100.00. If additional installments need to be made, please contact the Programmer Raelee Hawkes at 780-508-9044.

Now accepting applications.


  • Fill out the Application Form and participate in an interview with the Nîkânîw Programmer
  • Of Aboriginal Ancestry – First Nation, Métis or Inuit
  • Aged 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 receive:

  • A City of Edmonton Leisure Centre Facility Pass for the duration of enrollment
  • Program supplies and materials
  • Registration fees to advanced aquatics courses
  • A light meal each session


Nîkânîw means “one who leads the way” in Cree. The Nîkânîw Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program is an opportunity for Aboriginal youth to gain leadership skills that will lead to increased opportunities in the future.

Our objectives are:

  • Leadership development and employment opportunities through role models and mentoring
  • Aboriginal cultural learning and application
  • Physical and mental challenge and risk taking
  • Identify support and resources for success

For More Information

Nîkâniw Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program



Fax 780-496-6910

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