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 protectors and stewards of the land, reflected throughout Mnidoo-Gamii. It is a human right for Anishinaabek youth to be Anishinaabe.
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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.”
Online Anishinaabemowin videos – #MowinMonday (2020) by Dawson Bloor, GBAY Youth Advisory member. He is from Wasauksing First Nation, of the marten clan.
Shkode as Land Management (2020) 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 marten 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).
Chiefs of Ontario: The Advocate (Fall 2020) article on page 33 about the Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth team!
How Sweet is the Sugar Bush? (2021) blog post by Taylor Judge, GBAY Youth Advisory member. Her name is Nanowaygahkekwe, meaning “The Reconciler”. Taylor is an Anishinaabekwe from Shawanaga First Nation, of the marten clan. She is a fancy shawl dancer, a sister, and an auntie. Currently, Taylor is studying Law at Carleton University (BA.H).
GBAY Spotlight – Laidlaw Foundation (2020) interview with Kyla Judge, GBAY Coordinator. Kyla is from Shawanaga First Nation, also of the marten clan.
GBAY online cooking workshop: In partnership with the Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre, the recipe cards are FREE for download and online tutorial videos can be found HERE, on Youtube.
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.
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’s Urban Programming for Indigenous People, Laidlaw Foundation’s Indigenous Youth and Community Futures Fund. Donations can be made to GBAY through the Georgian Bay Biosphere, a registered charity. Miigwech!