What are some tools to help build youth engagement programs?

The best ways of engaging youth will look different in each community. In some cases, youth engagement may have direct links to Indigenous Guardian programs and others may not. Regardless, the importance and benefits of youth being connected to their lands, waters, and cultures cannot be understated.

Approaches to building youth engagement programs are diverse. However, if you are looking to build, grow, or strengthen youth programming for your Nation then the following resources may be useful. 

Nature United and community partners have developed "The SEAS Toolkit: A resource for planning your on-the-land Indigenous youth program," drawing on knowledge from the success of programs on BC's coast. Click here to download the full toolkit as a PDF. Note that this toolkit was developed based on the unique culture and territories of First Nations on the BC Coast and you may need to adapt some of the language and activities to fit your specific context. 

You can also download individual worksheets from the toolkit to help with specific components of building your youth on-the-land program.

Stakeholder Engagement Tools

Stakeholder Engagement Tools
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Resources and Assets Worksheet

The purpose of this worksheet is to get you thinking about the people, organizations, businesses, and departments that might be interested in supporting your program. As you begin to identify these potential partners, you can start to have conversations that will help you figure out where your program will live, what it will focus on, and how it will be delivered.

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Resources and Assets Worksheet

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Community Talent Map Tool

As you are planning activities, think about who in your community has knowledge in different areas who would be willing and excited to share this with youth – these people can support your program delivery.

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Community Talent Map Tool

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Community Program 1 Page Backgrounder (Warrior Program Template)

This one page background document is a tool that can help you summarize current ideas about your program. Even if you are not running a Warrior program, you could adapt it to use with another youth on the land/water program. It is helpful to have a 1 pager you can share with people as you start to talk about your program ideas and try to gain support from others.

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Community Program 1 Page Backgrounder (Warrior Program Template)

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Meeting Organization Checklist

This worksheet is designed to help you organize and plan a meeting.

This resource is from "The SEAS Toolkit: A resource for planning your on-the-land Indigenous youth program". Click here to access the full toolkit as a PDF.

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Meeting Organization Checklist

Work Planning Templates

Work Planning Templates
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Issues and Goals Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to help you clarify what changes you want to see as a result of having a SEAS program. When you have a clear understanding of what your program will focus on, you can then do more detailed thinking about specific program activities that will help you make progress in these important areas.

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Issues and Goals Worksheet

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Sample Program Description - Key Elements

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Work Planning Template for a School Program

This template is designed to help you create a work plan for your school program. You can use it to coordinate with teachers and other school staff members, plan activities, and keep yourself organized as you implement your program. This tool is also available in an Excel format.

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Work Planning Template for a School Program

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Work Planning Template for a Summer Internship Program

The purpose of this template is to help you create a work plan for your SEAS program. A work plan is basically just a plan of action that outlines what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Having a clear plan of action for your SEAS program can help you to stay organized and prepare for activities in advance.

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Work Planning Template for a Summer Internship Program

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Sample Year Planning Template (Warrior program)

Budget Tools

Budget Tools
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Funding Tracker Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to help you track all of your current funders, as well as various potential funders and grant application timelines.

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Funding Tracker Worksheet

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Budgeting Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to help you create a budget for your program. This will help you determine the amount of funding your program will need, and maintain a sense of when (i.e., by month) expenses will come up. This tool is also available in Excel format.

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Budgeting Worksheet

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Budget Tracking Example

You want to make sure you know what you are spending each month and on what expenses – this helps you know how much money you have left to work with and makes sure you budget for what you need / want to do and don’t overspend on other things.

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Budget Tracking Example

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Financial Reporting Template

Here is a template with some samples that you can use to create your own financial report. You may need to create one of these to show your funder what you spent their money on. 

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Financial Reporting Template

Activity and Trip Planning Templates

Activity and Trip Planning Templates
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Activity Inspiration List

This list is provided simply to give you some activity ideas that other SEAS programs are using to meet their program goals and objectives. It is designed to help you get creative, borrow from the ideas of others, and think through a range of ways of approaching how you deliver your program. These ideas are presented in list form.

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Activity Inspiration List

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Sample Youth Training Opportunities (Warrior Program)

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Activity Brainstorming Worksheet

The purpose of this worksheet is to help you brainstorm activity ideas for your SEAS program. It supports more focused thinking about specific activities that can help you reach your program goals. Use this worksheet to get started with program planning.

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Activity Brainstorming Worksheet

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Warrior Skills Survey

This is a survey tool that can allow your youth to articulate what they are most interested in learning about. It was developed by the Warrior program but you can certainly customize it to fit your context.

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Warrior Skills Survey

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Sample Seasonal Calendar (Warrior Program)

This is an example you can use as you build your own seasonal calendar for what you would like to do with youth throughout the months of the year. Build your own depending on what resources and learning opportunities are available in your territory at different times of the year.

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Sample Seasonal Calendar (Warrior Program)

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Activity Prioritization Worksheet

The purpose of this worksheet is to help you create a short list of really great activity ideas that you can use to start building your program’s work plan around. It will also help you identify any ideas that just don’t make sense.

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Activity Prioritization Worksheet

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Activity Planning Worksheet

This template is designed to help you plan classroom and community-based activities. This worksheet will guide you in thinking through all the necessary logistics, as well as clarifying and communicating the focus and goals of the activity.

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Activity Planning Worksheet

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Trip Planning Worksheet

This template is designed to help you plan day trips and overnight adventures, such as camping trips. This worksheet will guide you in thinking through all the necessary logistics, including safety and risk management, as well as clarifying and communicating the focus and goals of the trip.

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Trip Planning Worksheet

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Weeknight Training Template (Warrior program)

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Overnight Trip Planner (Warrior program)

This is a tool you can use to help you plan out the activities for an overnight youth on the land experience. You may also want to refer back to your seasonal calendar to decide where to take your youth on weekend trips. You could learn about where your people used to go in each season and organize a trip to those places at those times.

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Overnight Trip Planner (Warrior program)

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Warrior Program Packing List

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Weekend Training Trip Planner (Warrior program)

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Sample Activity Lineup (Overview)

A sample weekend plan for an on the land program is included below (the activity line up). This is a general schedule of events that can be changed or adapted to the needs of your group (e.g. youth energy), weather, illness, or any other factors that arise.

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Sample Activity Lineup (Overview)

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Spacial Event Planning Sample

There may be times when in the planning of your youth on the land experience (overnight or daytime) it may make sense to use a spatial diagram to lay out where each activity will be place. Here is one example of that used by the Warrior program.

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Spacial Event Planning Sample

Land-Based Curriculum Examples

Land-Based Curriculum Examples
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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 10

This course has been designed to help students earn the skills and knowledge of leaders and role-models in their communities. Herein, youth foster connectedness and leadership through cultural activities, land-based skill development, and resilience-based wellness training.

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 10

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 11

This course has been designed to help students earn the skills and knowledge of leaders and role-models in their communities. Herein, youth foster connectedness and leadership through cultural activities, land-based skill development, and resilience-based wellness training.

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 11

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 12

This course has been designed to help students earn the skills and knowledge of leaders and role-models in their communities. Herein, youth foster connectedness and leadership through cultural activities, land-based skill development, and resilience-based wellness training.

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Nuu-Chah-Nulth Leadership 12

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Teaching with the Land: Ideas based on the Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k:tles7et'h' Seasonal Round

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Sample Year Plan (SEAS School Program)

Here is a sample year plan for a school SEAS / youth on the land program shared by the SEAS program at Bella Bella Community School. You may be able to adapt this to your own community context / school context.

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Sample Year Plan (SEAS School Program)

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Hunter Education (Locally Developed Course - NWT)

Hunter Education is a three-credit Locally Developed Course (LDC) intended for Grade 10 students. Students acquire a working knowledge of key hunting safety skills and techniques, including an overview of hunting acts and regulations, ecology and wildlife management, and survival skills. This on-the-land skills training encourages student leadership and other valuable skills, while promoting a

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Hunter Education (Locally Developed Course - NWT)

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First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

FNESC has a mandate to support First Nations students and advance First Nations education in BC. They have several resources on their website that outline curriculum links to land-based learning and other topics such as BC First Nations Land, Title and Governance; Math First Peoples; and teaching resources on Residential Schools.

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First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC)

Consent Forms

Consent Forms
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School Program Day Trip Field Form

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School Program Overnight Field Trip Form

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Internship Program Consent Form

This template is designed to help you create an Internship Program Consent Form for your interns. This form is for all activities and trips that take place as part of the internship (e.g. day trips or multi-day camping trips). You can fill the form out for all trips at once or use this on a trip-by-trip basis.

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Internship Program Consent Form

Sample Program Coordinator Job Descriptions and Templates

Sample Program Coordinator Job Descriptions and Templates
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School Program Coordinator Job Description Template

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Internship Program Coordinator Job Description Template

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Warrior Program Coordinator Job Posting

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Warrior Program Community Coordinator To Do's

Once you’ve presented your program idea to several different people, it’s time to hire the Program Coordinator and find funding for the program. Sometimes you need to hire the Coordinator to be able to find funding – and there has to be someone available with the time / skills to hire. 

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Warrior Program Community Coordinator To Do's

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Sample Community Leadership Team (Warrior Program)

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Coordinator Job Interview Template

Here are some sample interview questions you can draw from when you are hiring a Program Coordinator.

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Coordinator Job Interview Template

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Job Interview Questions for Youth Interns

Here are some sample interview questions you can draw from when you are hiring youth interns. Thank you to the SEAS programs on the Central Coast for sharing the questions they have been using. 

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Job Interview Questions for Youth Interns

Reflection, Reporting, and Evaluation Tools

Reflection, Reporting, and Evaluation Tools
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Importance of Reflection & Reporting

A ‘consistent habit of reflection and innovation’ is really just a way of thinking about your program that uses trial and error and experiential learning together with information and observation to

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Importance of Reflection & Reporting

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School Program Report Tool

This template is designed to help you track information about your school program. You can use this information to share details about your program with others (e.g., Chief and Council, program partners and funders), and you can also use it to support program evaluation and future planning. This tool is also available in Excel format.

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School Program Report Tool

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Internship Program Report Tool

This template is designed to help you track information about your internship program. You can use this information to share details about your program with others (e.g., Chief and Council, program partners and funders), and you can also use it to support program evaluation and future planning. This tool is also available in Excel Format.

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Internship Program Report Tool

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Program Participant (Students, Interns) Survey Examples

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Student Learning Reflection Template

This is a form teachers or Coordinators can use with students to reflect on their learning after an on-the-land or on-the-water experience. Thank you to Bella Bella Community School for sharing their template.

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Student Learning Reflection Template

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Staff (Teachers, Internship Coordinators) Survey Examples

These survey tools are designed to help you gather some feedback about your program from teachers and other school staff (e.g., administrators, guidance counsellors). Their feedback will help you evaluate your program and make decisions about how to adjust or improve it.

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Staff (Teachers, Internship Coordinators) Survey Examples