The Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth (GBAY) is an Indigenous youth-led grassroots group in partnership with the Georgian Bay Biosphere. We are a community-based organization that works with partners to support Indigenous youth ages 13 to 29 throughout the rivers and eastern shore of Mnidoo Gamii (Georgian Bay).
GBAY is located in Parry Sound, Ontario within the Robinson-Huron Treaty Territory of 1850 and the UNESCO designated Georgian Bay Biosphere (2004).
Anishinaabe ininemowin (thought/philosophy) is the foundation of GBAY. Our projects and programming are rooted in Anishinaabe aadziwin (cultural land-based learning). Through mentorship and capacity building, our goal 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 strengthening and flourishing Indigenous innovation. In an era of reconciliation, it is necessary for Indigenous youth to see their realities as protectors and stewards of the land, reflected throughout Mnidoo-Gamii. It is a human right for Anishinaabek youth to be Anishinaabek.
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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.”
Shkode as Land Management blog post by Gracie Crafts, GBAY Youth Advisory member. Her Anishinaabe name is Niizhogiiziskwe, meaning “two suns women”. She is an Anishinaabekwe from Wasauksing First Nation, of the Martin clan. She is also Jewish and of mixed European descent. She identifies as Two-Spirit and is a Fire Keeper at Trent University where she is studying Indigenous Environmental Science (B.Sc).
Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth Advisory Circle
The GBAY’s volunteer Youth Advisory Circle (YAC) is comprised of 8 Indigenous youth members, between the ages of 13 -29. Members of the YAC actively support decision making roles and responsibilities, as well as the delivery of programming. Including, but not limited to, the caretaking of Oshkinigig.
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, Indigenous Services Canada, Laidlaw Foundation’s Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund.