Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a community of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth committed to building honest and equitable relationships." - CanadainRoots.ca
We also partner with Canadian Roots, with whom we facilitated week-long Algonquin Exchange Programs, starting in the summers of 2015 and 2016. The program fosters relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from across Canada by facilitating a safe space for dialogue and strengthening relationships to Algonquin culture and land through experience. The objective of this program is to create solidarity among youth that will promote respect, understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young peoples. Our diverse set of participants, including urban to rural and cross-culturally, were immersed daily in cooperative and educational practices. This exchange involved leadership activities such as camping, canoeing, and engaging in dialogue and sharing circles for on-going truth and reconciliation initiatives. Plenty Canada also educated youth on wild rice, birch bark basket and dream catcher making, bridging Indigenous knowledge with science-based research, invasive species, forest stewardship and sustainability, and medicine identification walks. The event ended with attendance, camping, closing remarks, and ceremony at the Silver Lake Pow Wow.
These young leaders come together to learn more about breaking cultural boundaries, creating networks of solidarity, and cross-cultural sharing. Past participants account that they created lasting and meaningful relationships, had lots of fun with their group, and learned a lot from each other, in addition to the scheduled activities. Youth leave the exchange feeling empowered with tools and strategies for bridging cultural gaps in their own communities through the experiences and knowledge they have gained.