Celebrating and supporting Indigenous culture and identity

YMCA Calgary Indigenous Programs and Services offer drop-in and registered programs to support Indigenous children, youth and families with cultural identity, leadership, recreation and connections to Calgary’s urban Indigenous communities.



Drop-in Programs for Youth and Families

When: Thursdays | 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. 

What: Drop in for an active night at the YMCA - for FREE!  Join other youth and young adults (ages 12-30) for basketball, swimming, cardio, and more!  This program is free with full facility access during designated times. Grab a friend for some active, social fun. 

Where: Saddletowne YMCA – 180, 7555 Falconridge Boulevard NE 

Contact: Sarena Provost, Indigenous Manager | 587-391-0425 | sarena.provost@calgary.ymca.ca 

What: Grab your friends for some fun, friendly competition at our outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  The tournament is open to Indigenous youth ages 12-30. Maximum four players per team (one player must of be of the opposite sex). 

• 3-point shot 
• MVP 
• Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and competition winners 

Contact: Sarena Provost, Indigenous Manager | 587-391-0425 | sarena.provost@calgary.ymca.ca 

When: Mondays | 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. (Returning Fall of 2022) 

What: Bring your family for a weekly Drum and Dance drop-in night.   Learn or brush-up your skills in Pow Wow dance styles, drumming and Indigenous culture.  Our program Elder and male and female dance instructors will keep the sessions engaging and fun for participants of all ages and levels. Drum and Dance is an excellent way to keep active, build community and stay connected with Indigenous culture.

Where: YMCA Saddletowne - 7555 Falconridge Blvd SE 

Contact: Sarena Provost, Indigenous Manager | 587-391-0425 | sarena.provost@calgary.ymca.ca 

Registered Programs for Children and Youth

In a fun and active setting, Indigenous elementary school students meet twice a week to learn about Indigenous culture and traditions, experience support and friendship and get help with schoolwork. A typical day includes traditional stories, games, crafts, gym time and a healthy snack. 

YMCA Chickadees Clan (HON) is currently available to students at: 

  • Cedarbrae School – 10631 Oakfield Drive SW

Contact: Jimmy-Lou Williams, Indigenous Child and Youth Coordinator | 403-351-8279 | jimmy.willams@calgary.ymca.ca

In the Prairie Chicken Lodge, students learn leadership and mentorship skills, receive educational support, and learn traditional teachings. Students have the opportunity to practice leadership skills by acting as mentors to the Chickadees Lodge; they receive a healthy snack and recreation with games, stories, and activities that teach responsibility and traditional leadership skills. The Lodge provides positive cultural experiences, academic support, and positive adult role modelling for junior high students in a safe and culturally relevant environment.

YMCA Prairie Chicken Clan (HON) is currently available to students at:


  • Sir John A. MacDonald Junior High – 6600 4 Street NW 
  • John Ware School – 10020 19 Street SW 

Contact: Jimmy-Lou Williams, Indigenous Child and Youth Coordinator | 403-351-8279 | jimmy.willams@calgary.ymca.ca 

The Brave Dogs Lodge will pass on cultural teachings through storytelling, traditional activities, leadership skills, Circle of Courage teachings, Elder guidance, and cultural field trips. Students will receive five high school credits for each level of the program for a total of 15 Alberta Education credits for all who finish all three levels of the Lodge. Youth will also have the chance to practice leadership skills by acting as a Mentor to the Prairie Chicken Lodge. 

Legacy education is included in this Lodge with the intent to understand how intergenerational trauma may affect connections to culture, identity, and community. This is achieved through field trips, cultural activities, and teachings.

A vital aspect of the program is the inclusion of Elders who bring historical and cultural knowledge and teachings. They also help the group bond through shared culture between the diversity of the many Indigenous communities. This is accomplished through storytelling, song, and ceremony. 

YMCA Brave Dogs Clan (HON) is currently available to students at: 

North Sites 

  • John G Diefenbaker High School – 6620 4 Street NW 
  • James Fowler High School – 4004 4 Street NW 
  • Crescent Heights High School – 1019 1 Street NW 

Contact: Amber Greyeyes, Indigenous Youth Coordinator | 403-351-5257 | amber.greyeyes@calgary.ymca.ca 

South Sites 

  • Henry Wise Wood High School – 910 75 Avenue SW 
  • Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School – 19480 45 Street SE 

Contact: Teigan Smith, Indigenous Youth Coordinator | 403-700-4463 | teigan.smith@calgary.ymca.ca