Say Y.E.S. to Eel River Bar: The Young Environmental Stewards Program
The Young Environmental Stewards (Y.E.S.) program aim was to look at the community’s environmental situation through a youth’s perspective and as future decision makers.
The project engaged 10 local youth between the ages of 10 and 14 in a summer program that actively taught them about the environment in their own community. The youth were under the guidance of two local community members, who were hired as a Lead Instructor and as an Assistant. The youth were taking out at various locations surrounding their community where they were able to identify animals, animal tracks, and plants while discussing their traditional significance to the Mi’gmaq people. The youth were also involved in environmental enhancement activities, such as a beach shoreline cleanup where they collected 50 kilograms of garbage and tree planting, where a total of 53 various plant species were planted within their community.
When not out in the field, the youth spent time in the classroom where the Lead Instructor and Assistant executed indoor activities. These activities included t-shirt logo designs, making collages, story telling, arts and crafts, and writing in journals. Each activity related to the importance of protecting the environment. The Lead Instructor and local volunteer Elders were also invited into the classroom to tell Mi’gmaq stories and legends. The youth were also involved in the direction of developing two photo-novels, where the youth captured their own photos and provided input.