The Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth (GBAY) is an Indigenous youth-led initiative in partnership with the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB). GBAY works to support Indigenous youth along the rivers and eastern shore of Mnidoo Gamii (Georgian Bay). GBAY is located in Parry Sound, Ontario – within the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850.

Anishinaabe ininemowin (thought/philosophy) is the foundation of GBAY. The projects and programming are connected to Anishinaabe aadziwin (cultural land-based learning). The goal of GBAY is to create safe spaces for Indigenous youth to build strong community and cultural connections.

The multitude of projects, programming, and partnerships of the initiative are examples of Indigenous innovation. In an era of reconciliation, it is necessary for Indigenous youth to see their realities as caretakers of the land reflected throughout Mnidoo-Gamii. It is a human right for Anishinaabek youth to be Anishinaabe.

GBAY staff team, July 2022 @ Ojibway Club. Photo credits: Sherrill Judge

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Oshkinigig

Our first project as GBAY was building Oshkinigig, our wiigwaas jiimaan (birch bark canoe) in October of 2019. With community support and guided by the expertise of the jiimaanke (canoe building) team, Oshkinigig was built in 19 intensive and beautiful days. Oshkinigig is the name of our jiimaan which loosely translates to “The New Ones.”

Oshkinigig launch ceremony (2019), Old Town Beach. Photo credit: Delina Rice
Oshkinigig launch ceremony (2019), Old Town Beach. Photo credit: Delina Rice

Resources

Online Anishinaabemowin videos – #MowinMonday (2020) by Dawson Bloor, GBAY staff. He is from Wasauksing First Nation, of the marten clan.

Picture this: Storytelling through Pictographs (2021) blog post by Taylor Judge, GBAY staff. Taylor is an Anishinaabekwe from Shawanaga First Nation, of the marten clan. She is a fancy shawl dancer, a sister, and an auntie.

Global Heroes: Building a Sustainable Future Together (2021) interview with Dr. Rebecca Pollock, GBB Executive Director, and Kyla Judge, GBAY Coordinator. Biosphere regions are recognized by UNESCO for being at the forefront of sustainable development and community-building. The Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth is an organization that works closely with the Biosphere to connect Indigenous youth to land-based learning and cultural programming opportunities.

Students Commission of Canada’s 2020-21 Program Evaluations of the GBAY:

Shkode as Land Management (2020) blog post by Gracie Crafts, GBAY Advisory member. She is an Anishinaabekwe from Wasauksing First Nation, of the marten clan. She is also Jewish and of mixed European descent. She identifies as Two-Spirit and is a Fire Keeper.

Future of Good: Social R&D (2021) interview with Kyla Judge, GBAY Coordinator. Indigenous communities face already-existing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Decolonizing the approach to social R&D could be the key. As we move towards recovery, organizations must centre inclusion. This is integral to Anishinaabe thought and philosophy. A strong sense of belonging = community resilience. See how Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth developed its programs based on inclusion, accessibility, and knowledge-sharing.

GBAY online cooking workshop, recipe cards are FREE for download.

Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth Advisory & Membership Circles

The GBAY’s volunteer Advisory Circle (AC) and Membership Circle (MC) is comprised of Indigenous youth members, between the ages of 13 -29.

Join the GBAY team! We are welcoming expressions of interest from Indigenous youth to join the team as volunteers of the Advisory OR Membership Circle.

For more information please email Dawson at [email protected]!

How We Operate

The Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth is a non-profit Indigenous youth-led grassroots initiative. Our project is proudly supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Youth Opportunities Fund and Indigenous Services Canada’s Urban Programming for Indigenous People.

Donations can be made to GBAY through the Georgian Bay Biosphere, a registered charity.

GBAY merchandise can be purchased online!

Wiigwaas Jiimaan ceremony, October 25th, 2019 Left to right: Taylor Judge, Dawson Bloor, Kyla Judge, Gracie Crafts

Thank You Funders