Youth in the Beaufort Delta are getting a boost in self-care after Arctic Youth Development Agency distributed kits throughout the region.
Distributed the first week of April, this is the second distribution of kits to youth aged 14-29. The first distribution was July 25, 2020, said Arctic Youth Development Agency co-founder Amie Charlie.
Each kit contains a reusable shopping bag, snacks, a candle from Sequoia Soaps, wool socks from Ecologyst, a mug and peppermint tea. They also contain an art print by Morgan Harper Nichols, stickers, the AYDA spring newsletter. Finally, each package comes with a copy of Embers by Richard Wagamese, a book of meditations, prayers and affirmations.
“Each item was chosen with intention,” said Charlie. “Embers, by Richard Wagamese is a beautifully written book full of powerful, yet at times simple, meditations and prayers.
“Feel free to start from the beginning or in the middle, it really doesn’t matter. Pick it up whenever you need to feel a bit more grounded.”
Made in Canada
Youth in Inuvik, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson were able to sign up for the kits. Charlie said 70 youth signed up for the kits.
The self-care kits also give youth exposure to homegrown products. Just about everything in the kits has a Canadian connection.
“We wanted to shop for products that were Indigenous or Canadian made,” said Charlie. “That is why you’ll see the candle from Sequoia, and the warm wool socks from Ecologyst included in your kit. We hope you enjoy them!
“Since it’s Easter, we’ve added some chocolate! We’ve also included a mug and peppermint tea for those chilly spring mornings. May you feel loved, supported, and encouraged.”
Sequoia is Indigenous-owned and Ecologyst is Canadian-owned.
With summer around the corner, AYDA is already planning the next kits. Charlie said she hopes to get kits to every student in the region. On top of that, a new website for AYDA will launch this summer. A berry picking retreat is also in the works.
Charlie expressed thanks to the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Girls Action Foundation for their support, and gave a special shout out to the volunteers who helped out over the week.
“Our current board members are Maribeth Pokiak, Lenora McLeod, Crystal Milligan, Tamara Voudrach, Megan Lennie, and Amie Charlie,” said Charlie. “An amazing group of ladies ready to do great things!”