• YWCA Indigenous Mentorship program

The YWCA Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship program provides opportunities for self-identified Indigenous girls, ages 12-18 (mentees), to connect with Indigenous community, culture and tradition with the help of young self-identified Indigenous women (mentors) and skilled facilitators. (The program welcomes members of the Two-Spirit, Trans, Queer, and Disabled Communities).

Are you a self-identified young Indigenous woman who is interested in helping create a supportive community for other Indigenous women and girls? Do you have a few hours a month to share with mentees and other mentors? 

Become a volunteer mentor and share your knowledge and passion to celebrate Indigenous community and tradition. 


Mentor requirements 

Our mentors come from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, and have a range of knowledge on traditional teachings and cultural connection. Our mentors:

  • Self-identify as Indigenous
  • Are young, adult women (often university or college students) who are interested and ready to cultivate their youth leadership and facilitation skills 
  • Are keen to connect with Indigenous community, culture and tradition and serve as positive role models for Indigenous girls 
  • Are available for at least one cycle of six visits to a school 
  • Can commit to assisting with event set-up, food preparation and clean up 
  • Possess good communication skills 

“This is an absolutely necessary program to build confidence, leadership and life skills in Indigenous girls.”
Mentee

“Reconciliation means supporting and engaging in healing with Indigenous peoples. Supporting this group is reconciliation in action.”  ​
Mentor

“I can’t fully express how important this program is to me. It has changed my life in so many positive ways. I have become a stronger, more confident, more articulate and well-rounded person. The relationships I have formed with the sisters are lifelong, and the cultural enrichment I have gained cannot be replicated in any other space.”​
Mentor

How the program works

The program provides a forum for volunteer mentors to cultivate a community of support and gain leadership skills. Circle of Sisters consists of two key opportunities: 

School workshop series 

The Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program partners with Metro Vancouver schools to provide Indigenous girls with opportunities to explore their culture and learn life skills in a safe, supportive environment. The series consists of six, 2.5-hour workshops (held weekly or bi-weekly) where students have opportunities to make new friends, gain support, self-esteem, leadership skills and reflect on their life goals. 

Workshops are held at local schools that have identified a specific programming need for Indigenous girls. Workshops are delivered by Métis facilitator Anna Soole and volunteer mentors. Workshop content can be tailored to the needs of the group, including medicine wheel teachings, healthy relationships and self-esteem and identity.

Sunday circles 

The program also offers monthly Sunday afternoon circles for volunteer mentors. Held at the YWCA Program Centre in Downtown Vancouver, the Sunday circles provide a forum for mentors to cultivate community, gain leadership skills and support. Activities and topics covered include traditional arts and crafts, self-esteem and identity, effective communication and healthy relationships.

Sunday circles are facilitated by Anna Soole and are held in the afternoon. Mentors are asked to assists in the day’s preparations. Mentees are also invited to attend. 

Participation is free of charge, and food is provided at all program events.

How to apply

If you would like to see the Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program delivered in your school, or would like to become a volunteer mentor, please contact: 

Janice Lee at​ 604 895 5802​ | jlee@ywcavan.org