First Directions: Indigenous Resilience


When: March 13, 2023 at 12:00pm - March 18, 2023

Where: Harrison Lake Lodge
22778 72nd Ave
Langley, BC V2Y 2K3
Google map and directions

Contact: Nona Marchand ·

This event takes place on the unceded and ancestral lands of the S'olh Temexw (Stó:lō) peoples.

Apply to be part of First Directions by February 27 at

At First Directions, we bring Indigenous youth together from across the province to develop short videos on this years theme of Indigenous Resilience. During First Directions, a group of 10-12 Indigenous youth will:

  • Travel to a lodge at Harrison Hot Springs near Abbotsford, BC, supervised by the Yúusnewas staff team
  • Be involved in workshops that focus on Indigenous resilience
  • Learn how to create a short film, including how to use film equipment, create a storyboard, and edit their work with the help of Reel Youth
  • Work in small groups, develop a film on a topic of their choice related to Indigenous Resilience 

YouthCO will cover travel costs to and from the retreat, as well as meals and accommodations during the training to participants whose applications are accepted. We will work with families and communities to ensure safe transportation for all youth. 

As Indigenous youth we are talking about issues that affect our people so that we can share information with our friends and relatives about topics that are important to us. During First Directions, Yúusnewas will host workshops to share information about Indigenous Resilience, and work together to make short films about these topics. Resilience is often expected of us in order to navigate our current world. This shows up in our bodies, communities and ourselves in many different ways. In naming resilience, we are trying to give power to everyday actions of resilience. We want to both celebrate and sympathize with the obstacles Indigenous youth are faced with.
This year we will explore the many ways in which Resilience plays a role in our lives. 

Some of the topics we will be focusing on during First Directions are:

  •  Decolonizing health care, the ways in which resilience plays a factor while navigating health care spaces
  • Highlight ways resilience shows up in art and activism
  • Show casing indigenous folks reclaiming and taking up space in the modern world 
  • Unpacking the ways resilience shows up in our lives and much more!


COVID 19 Measures

To support safer access to our programming for all in attendance in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented a few important measures that we hope will help create a safer environment for us to learn and build community together.

  • All sessions will be held either outdoors or in well-ventilated large rooms with capacity well under 50%
  • Hand-washing stations and hand-sanitizer will be made available throughout the program
  • We ask all attendees to be fully vaccinated (3-doses) for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Masks are optional and will be available on site for those who prefer to use them

We know that for many of us, some these additional measures like wearing a mask, can feel a bit exhausting, especially after living through this for the past two years. We really appreciate your cooperation as we all figure this out together. Your participation is so important to us, your safety is so important to us, your presence is so important to us – you are so important to us! We hope to see you at First Directions this year! Please let us know if you have any questions at all, you can reach us at [email protected] 


*Applications are now open*

Apply by February 27th at