Peterborough, ON: The TRACKS (TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge & Science) Youth Program was recognized for its work with InSTEM (Indigenous Science Technology Engineering and Math) mentors during a virtual awards ceremony at the 2021 Actua National Conference on Wednesday.
Actua is a network-based organization that proudly represents and support 43 university and college-based network members. These organizations embody Actua’s commitment to engaging all youth in Canada in hands-on STEM and to breaking barriers to youth participation in STEM studies and careers. The TRACKS Youth Program has been a network member of Actua since 2018.
The Actua Mentorship Award recognizes the network member organization that makes an outstanding contribution to the National Mentorship program by engaging a diversity of mentors including mentors in Actua’s national barrier breaking programs and promoting mentoring as a key component of outreach through exciting activities, training, and media.
Despite Covid-19, in 2021 TRACKS connected with over 8,000 youth ages 6-18 through InSTEM-inspired virtual camps, workshops, outreach, and remote activities. “One of TRACKS’ program intentions is to facilitate spaces where intergenerational knowledge can be shared and mentoring relationships can be nurtured”, says Chris Furgal, a member of the TRACKS Steering Team. “For this to happen, it’s vital that staff and program participants have access to and opportunities through which to build relationships with and learn from Indigenous Elders, knowledge holders and other community members who embody the values and knowledges TRACKS was founded on.” Along with Dan Longboat, Furgal helped found the TRACKS Youth Program 11 years ago and is an Associate Professor of the Indigenous Environmental Studies & Sciences Program at Trent University.
The TRACKS Youth Program is grateful for the support and guidance of its Advisory Circle and other mentors who contributed to its success in 2021. Youth, families, and educators interested in participating in TRACKS programming can learn more by visiting www.tracksprogram.ca or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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The TRACKS Youth Program facilitates dynamic, land-based youth programming that braids multiple scientific approaches by centring Indigenous ways of knowing and being. TRACKS is hosted by Trent University within the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program (IESS), and operates in partnership with founding partner organization Kawartha World Issues Centre and the First Peoples House of Learning.