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Aboriginal Initiatives

Aboriginal Initiatives - Programs offered through Oshawa Community Health Centre/The Youth Centre

Oshawa Community Health Centre/TYC  continues to offer a range of programs and services for Aboriginal youth to help serve members of the Aboriginal population in the Durham Region.

People self identifying as First Nations, Métis and Inuit ancestry are invited to register for these programs which are offered at no charge:

Aboriginal Children and Family Program  (contact: 905-723-0036 x269)

Wednesdays from 5 to 7pm at OCHC

There are two groups within this program.

a.      The Aboriginal Family Gathering Program: Children (0-6) attend with their parent(s)/guardian(s) and will learn different cultural teachings, crafts, games, dance and songs. These teachings help them to identify who they are and who their ancestors were. Meals are provided.

b.      Aboriginal Children’s Program: This children's program will bring cultural knowledge to those participants 7 - 11 yrs old. The program was identified as a need by the parents participating in the Family Gathering program (see above). Children will learn different cultural teachings, crafts, games, dance and songs. These teachings help them to identify who they are and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their ancestors. Meals are provided.


Aboriginal Youth Program (Contact 905-723-0036  x222)

Wednesdays from 5-8 pm at OCHC

Aboriginal Youth Program for 12 – 18 years old youth. Youth discuss and provide support for depression, anxiety, addictions and regaining cultural connection. Sessions may be facilitated by an Elder, Aboriginal Outreach Worker (UOIT) and guest speakers who will share their knowledge of the various Aboriginal cultures.


Aboriginal Young Thunderbirds (Contact:  905-723-0036 x269 or x222)

Tuesdays from 4-6 pm at OCHC

The “Young Thunderbirds” is a 10-week program based out of Oshawa Community Health Centre delivered by the Aboriginal Youth Mental Health and Addiction Workers. This program is designed for self-identified Aboriginal Youth living in Durham Region within the ages of 12-29 years. This is a cultural based program providing the youth community participants with the necessary life and coping skills to meet the needs and fill the gaps as identified by the needs assessment survey that was administered by our Programming themes include but are limited to: outdoor recreation, ecology, visual arts, healing circles, mentorship, healthy eating and lifestyle, diabetes awareness and prevention, as well as sexual health all administered using indigenous methodology framework. 


Aboriginal Youth Drum Circle (Contact Information: 905-723-0036 x279)

Alternating Mondays at UOIT and Scugog - please call for exact time and location

The Aboriginal Youth Drum Circle is an Aboriginal youth program for community participants aged 12-25 years of age. Participants are asked to self-identify as either Status/Non-Status, Métis or of Inuit ancestry. The program utilizes community partners' spaces to hold sessions within the Greater Durham Region. This program is administered within the AOP Framework, with the core theme focusing on culturally appropriate and sensitive Big Drum. This program provides a positive and safe space for community participants to learn introductory songs on the Big Drum as a tool for healing historical/personal traumas (using Indigenous methodologies of healing and community building). Community participants will acquire Traditional Knowledge and sense of place within the Durham Greater Region Aboriginal community creating personal and community pride.


Aboriginal Beading Program (Contact Information:  905-723-0036 x222)

Please call for exact times and dates

The Aboriginal Beading Program teaches youth (ages 12-25) the value of traditional craft making as a tool for healing historical/personal traumas (using Indigenous methodologies of healing and community building). Participants are asked to self-identify as either Status/Non-Status, Metis or of Inuit ancestry. Youth will acquire traditional knowledge and a sense of place within the Durham Region Aboriginal community creating personal and community pride. 


Okitchitaw (Aboriginal Martial Arts Program) (Contact 905-723-0036 x222)

Wednesdays from 7-9 pm at OCHC - FULL
Saturdays from 10-11am at OCHC - Open to All (this program is supported through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Grant)


This program is facilitated by Stephan. It is held in the gym and follows the Aboriginal Youth programs offered earlier in the evening. It was originally introduced to us with a demonstration by Chief Instructor, George Lepine. He spoke with families about the history of the Plains Cree martial arts system that is based on the philosophy and physical attributes of the Four Directions and the Seven Grandfathers Teachings.

Okichitaw is currently offered on a weekly basis at our Centre.This program is available to children ages 6 to 12 years.

Counselling and Support Services:

       Aboriginal Child & Youth Mental Health and Addictions Worker (Contact  905-723-0036 x269)

       Through a partnership with Enaahtig Healing Lodge, our Aboriginal Child & Youth Mental Health and Addictions Worker offers counselling and  support for children up to 12 years of age and their families.

Aboriginal Youth Mental Health and Addictions Worker (Contact 905-723-0036 x222)

Through the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Oshawa Community Health Centre/The Youth Centre, our Aboriginal Youth Mental Health and Addictions Worker currently offers counselling and support for Aboriginal youth ages 12 to 25 and up to age 29 for those with identified needs.

Aboriginal Youth Health Promoter (Contact 905-723-0036 x222)

Our Aboriginal Youth Health Promoter facilitates a variety of programs for youth.  Please call for more details.


Drum Social Gatherings (Contact 905-723-0036 x270)

To date, fourteen drum social gatherings have been offered to the greater Durham Region community during the past four years. All of these gatherings are offered to the public at no charge in various locations across Durham. There is something for everyone of all ages. Come out and join the celebration of the rich diversity of Aboriginal cultures. For more information contact: Regina or call 905-723-0036 Ext 270



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