Our Impact

Changing lives and communities

Spirit North uses sport, play and land-based activities to engage, inspire and educate children and youth. Our goal is to spark inspiration for health and facilitate the development of community-led sport and activity programming that promotes leadership and increases the positive development of Indigenous children and their communities.

Spirit North empowers youth to learn, grow, thrive and strengthen themselves and their communities through sport. Our programs…

INCREASE mental and physical health through activity

CREATE a sense of belonging within the wider community

IMPROVE academic outcomes and attendance

BUILD stronger connections with the land

Stronger Schools

  • 98% attendance on Spirit North school ski days (versus 65% regularly)
  • 97% of students “looked forward to Spirit North ski days.”
  • Suspension numbers drop after Spirit North ski days.
  • 100% of educators say they would like Spirit North to return to their schools.

Better Health

  • Healthy, active lifestyles can help to prevent numerous health risks later in life.
  • 90% of student respondents wanted to exercise more after participating in Spirit North programs.
  • 80% of educator respondents reported “positive changes in student behaviour” after participating in Spirit North.

Students speak out

  • 99% of respondents enjoyed Spirit North programs.
  • 89% felt “happy” after a day with Spirit North.
  • 87% learned that “when I try hard, I can accomplish something.”
  • 76% “felt confident and proud of my new skills” after a program day.

Activity for Everyone

  • Spirit North programs are build on the sport-for-life model, ensuring enjoyment and accessibility for all ages and abilities

Community Legacy

  • Communities often purchase their own cross-country ski equipment, including skis and track setting equipment, after Spirit North programs.
  • Eight athletes from Spirit North communities qualified for the 2018 Alberta Winter Games team.

Season report

In the Media

  • 2017
  • 2018

“Spirit North reveals trail for indigenous health and fitness”
Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Historic Nakoda ski team debuts in Kananaskis”
Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Sunchild Students Take on Ski Fit”
Outdoor Life

“Sunchild students take on cross-country skiing”
The Mountaineer

“Northern Alberta ski race teaches First Nation children lesson in determination”
CBC Edmonton

“Enoch Cree students learn benefit of cross-country skiing”
Windspeaker News

“Two-time Olympic medalist Beckie Scott brings cross country skiing and happiness to Alberta communities”
We Are Alberta

“Olympic medalist Beckie Scott expands cross country skiing program in aboriginal schools”
Ski Trax Magazine

“Kikino puts the Ski in Skilled learning”
Lac La Biche Post

“Trail Blazers”
Ft McMurray Today

“Sunchild: Students have Outdoor Learning Experience”
The Mountaineer

“Kehewin students learn the joys of skiing”
Bonnyville Nouvelle

“Olympian’s skiing lessons pure gold for First Nations students”
Edmonton Journal

“Children who ski are better at school”
The Sportskid Whisperer

“Beckie Scott Leads Star-Studded Lineup of Canadian Athletes Ready to Inspire First Nations Students with Ski Day at Canmore Nordic Centre”

Spirit North Receives Dynamic Boost to Support Indigenous Youth Health & Well-Being through 2020

Spirit North

Helping Indigenous youth focus on health and wellness

CTV Calgary News


Indigenous Youth take part in Spirit North BARHE PIÎCHIYABI Loppet

Spirit North

The Sport Law & Strategy Group partners with Spirit North to support Indigenous children and youth

Sport Law & Strategy Group

Connect. Empower. Inspire.

“We have chosen to designate ourselves as a Spirit North school. The joy that we see on ski days is indescribable and must be witnessed for it touches the heart. Our most behaviourally challenged students have found joy as they make their way around the tracks. Our autistic kids are now on even levels with their peers in physical activity. Our ski leaders grow every day in maturity and responsibility. And of upmost importance…our students are attending and learning!”
– Principal, Kikino Métis Settlement