• YWCA Indigenous Mentorship program

The YWCA Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program provides opportunities for self-identified Indigenous girls, age 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 are:

  • Young adult women (often university or college students) self-identified as Indigenous keen to connect with Indigenous community, culture and tradition and serve as positive role models for Indigenous girls 
  • Able to commit an average 5 to 10 hours per month from November to June to attend:
    • At least one set of School Circle sessions (one School Circle comprises of 6 sessions held at a local school from noon to 3pm on a weekday during Fall, Winter or Spring semester), and
    • Sunday Circle sessions (2 times per month, from noon to 4pm on Sundays at the YWCA downtown location)  

Benefits

  • Gain Facilitator training and experience
  • Cultivate your youth leadership and communication skills
  • Expand and strengthen your connections and experiences of Indigeneity
     


“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

“The sharing of stories, strengths helped me to feel closer to people.” — Mentee
 



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 components: 

SCHOOL CIRCLES

The Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program partners with schools in Metro Vancouver to provide Indigenous girls (mentees) with opportunities to explore their culture and learn life skills in a safe, supportive environment.

The School Circle consists of six 3-hour sessions (held weekly or bi-weekly) delivered by the YWCA Facilitator and Mentors. Through games, crafts, activities and discussions, the School Circle supports mentees with: 

  • Increased knowledge of Indigenous cultural roots, tradition and history
  • Promoting a sense of connection to – and pride in – their Indigenous cultures
  • Cultivating resilience, healthy self-esteem, relationships and communication skills
  • Gaining access to positive role models and develop leadership skills

SUNDAY CIRCLES 

Sunday Circles provide a forum for mentors to cultivate community, gain leadership skills and support. The goal of the Sunday Circles is to empower mentors as positive role models for Mentees in the program as well as other young Indigenous women in their community through:

  • Learning and sharing cultural teachings
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Discussing issues important to Indigenous people, particularly to urban Indigenous young women

Sunday Circles are held 2 Sunday afternoons per month, from November to June, at the YWCA Program Centre in Downtown Vancouver.
 



Contact Janice Lee at 604 895 5802 | jlee@ywcavan.org if you would like to become a volunteer mentor, or if you would like to see the Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program delivered at your school.