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    Sandy Silver interview April 8, 2022 CHONfm

Yukon University aiming to make summer camps more accessible to Indigenous families

Some are facing barriers to entry like poor internet access.

Youth participating in summer camp activities (photo provided by Yukon University).

Yukon University is taking steps to make it easier for Indigenous youth to access summer camps.

 

Department Head of Continuing Studies at YukonU, Dan Anton, says that their Youth Moving Mountains Summer Camps usually fill up pretty quickly, leaving some unable to secure a spot. So, now they are staggering the registration process.

 

Indigenous families will be able to sign up first through a week-long advanced registration period.

 

Also, the sign-up fee is no longer be needed at the time of registration. Families will have two months to come up with the cash and look for financial support.

 

Anton says they decided to change the registration process after they heard concerns from families who are facing barriers to entry like poor internet access, which is why enrollment can now be done over the phone.

 

Yukon University offers summer camps all over the territory and overall Indigenous participation is about 40 percent. Anton says in Whitehorse, that number drops to 18 percent.

 

“We’re excited to try it. We’re hopeful that it will help increase interest and accessibility to our programs to all Indigenous peoples in Whitehorse. We know we’re meeting Yukon communities with direct delivery and we feel that our Yukon communities have opportunities. The challenge in Whitehorse was just that scramble to registration,” says Anton.

 

Inspiring higher education

Youth participating in summer camp activities (photo provided by Yukon University).

 

The goal of the summer camps is to bring science, technology, trades, engineering and math to underserved populations. Anton says that teaching young people in a setting other than the classroom can inspire them to go on to higher education.

 

“We’ve had camp participants come back to us as employees and they’ve gone on to university and when I’m interviewing them, they say ‘I went in to engineering because of my experience at the camp at Yukon University,’ so we know it has direct impact,” says Anton.

 

Advanced registration for the camps will open on March 16.

Written by: Dylan MacNeil

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