The focus of the Coyote Pride Mentoring Program is to share teachings of culture, the histories of First People, and speak the truths of the Residential Schools. The program began operating in different schools in the region and explored the true effects of intergenerational trauma, and the importance and impact of Reconciliation from the First Peoples perspective. They also included a land-based teachings series that shared teachings from Elders and Knowledge Keepers online. The students were taught traditional games such as run and scream, sling ball, lacrosse, and hoop and dart, and they explored traditional lessons in hunting and trapping.
At Coyote Pride, they believe that mentoring preserves a way of life based on spirituality, sacredness, reciprocity, education, and social responsibility. With the integration of cultural pride, it preserves and protects the health and well-being of the youth. Through these mentoring sessions youth received the opportunity to learn different tribal regions, language lessons in Cree, and storytelling/legends within eight (8) different schools in the Edmonton region.
When the pandemic brought the students home, the Coyote Pride Mentoring Program and the Bent Arrow team provided activities to support families to try to find new ways of being together during the pandemic. This resulted in over 150 youth and their families receiving a variety of “kits”. A traditional games kits, family board game kit, Smudge kits, Seven Sacred Teachings kit, healthy snacks and cooking kits, and even hygiene kits. These kits helped the families, children and youth connect to their indigenous culture, strengthen family ties, and support overall wellness.