YMCA Calgary > Community YMCA > Indigenous Programs

Indigenous Programs

YMCA Calgary Indigenous Programs and Services works with Indigenous children, youth and families through drop in and registered programs that support cultural identity, leadership, recreation and connections to Calgary’s urban Indigenous community.

Drop-in Programs for Youth and Families

Indigenous Active Life Drop-In Program
Drop in for an active night at the YMCA - for FREE!  Join other youth and young adults (between the ages of 12 and 30) for court sports (such as basketball and floor hockey), swimming, cardio, resistance training and more!  The Active Life program is available at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA and Saddletowne YMCA.  The program is free, with full facility access during designated times.  Grab a friend for some active, social fun.

Tuesdays | 7-10pm
Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA – 101 3 Street SW

Thursdays | 7-10pm
Saddletowne YMCA – 180, 7555 Falconridge Boulevard NE

Contact: Hope William-Smith | 403-537-1723 | hope.williams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca


Annual Indigenous Youth Hoops Tournament

Grab your friends for some fun, friendly competition at our outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  The tournament is open to Indigenous youth ages 12-30 years old.  Maximum four players per team (one player must of be of the opposite sex).

• 3-point shot
• Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and competition winners

Contact: Hope William-Smith | 403-537-1723 | hope.williams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca


Indigenous Drum and Dance 
Bring your family for a weekly Drum and Dance drop-in night.   Learn or brush-up your skills in Pow Wow dance styles, drumming and Indigenous culture.  Our program Elder and male and female dance instructors will keep the sessions engaging and fun for participants of all ages and levels. Drum and Dance is an excellent way to keep active, build community and stay connected with Indigenous culture.

Mondays | 6-8pm
Radisson Park Elementary School – 2805 Radcliffe Drive SE

Contact: Hope William-Smith | 403-537-1723 | hope.williams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca



Registered Programs for Children and Youth

Indigenous Buddies
In a fun and active setting, Indigenous elementary school students meet twice a week to learn about Indigenous culture and traditions, experience support and friendship and get help with school work. A typical day includes traditional stories, games, crafts, gym time and a healthy snack.

Indigenous Buddies is currently available to students at:

Catherine Nichols Gunn Elementary School – 6625 4 Street NE
Contact: Hope Williams-Smith | 403-351-6671 | hope.willams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca

Louis Riel School – 9632 Oakfield Drive SW
Contact: Hope Williams-Smith | 403-351-6671 | hope.willams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca


Vision Seekers
Indigenous junior high school students learn leadership and mentorship skills, receive educational support, learn traditional teachings and meet professionals from the Indigenous community. You will have the chance to practice your leadership skills by volunteering in the Indigenous Buddies elementary school program. At Vision Seekers you’ll receive a healthy snack and recreation time with games, stories and activities that teach traditional leadership and how to be a mentor.

Vision Seekers is currently available to students at:

Sir John A. MacDonald Junior High – 6600 4 Street NW
Contact: Hope Williams-Smith | 403-351-6671 | hope.willams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca

Louis Riel School – 9632 Oakfield Drive SW
Contact: Hope Williams-Smith | 403-351-6671 | hope.willams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca


YMCA 7th Generation (Y7G)
The program will encompass cultural teachings through storytelling, traditional activities, leadership skills, 7 Sacred Teachings, Medicine Wheel Teachings, Elders and cultural field trips.  Through a great partnership with YMCA Calgary and Calgary Board of Education, student in the YMCA 7th Generation Program students will receive High School credits. It is a great opportunity for Indigenous youth to reconnect with their heritage while building pride, self-esteem and a positive self-identity.  It will be a holistic approach to make program more entertaining and inviting.  YMCA 7th Generation is a support system for our youth to help them achieve and to have better understanding of our First Nations cultural aspect.  Through the traditional teachings and our holistic approach we believe it will empower the youth to be successful in all that they do. 

For more information on YMCA 7th Generation, contact: Hope William-Smith | 403-537-1723 | hope.williams-smith@calgary.ymca.ca