Youth Group

Activities for connection and growth. Outings, workshops, dinners and more. Tailored programs empower Seabird Island youth. Parents and guardians welcome too. Get involved in enrichment with us!

Youth Activities for Connection and Growth

Seabird Island offers engaging programs for youth and families:

  • Monthly outings to places like Metrotown, paintball, Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre, and more
  • Weekly skills workshops and certifications for employability
  • Weekly drop-in dinners at the Youth Centre for hanging out and meeting peers

Whether seeking adventure, career development, or friendship – our programs provide opportunity for empowerment, cultural connection, and preparation for bright futures.

Parents/guardians are welcome to join monthly excursions. Contact us to get involved in activities tailored to your youth’s interests and needs.

Discover the Legacy of Seabird Island’s Youth Program

For decades, Seabird Island has been dedicated to supporting the next generation of Indigenous leaders through their Youth Program. In 2018, the program was elevated to the Seabird Health Department, where it has been further refined to prioritize the health and well-being of Indigenous youth. 

Experience the Transformation of our Program

In January 2019, we made significant advancements to our program, including the integration of trauma-informed care and cultural programming. Our mission remains steadfast: to empower Indigenous youth on their journey to adulthood and to help bridge the health disparity gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities through truth and reconciliation.

Program Growth

Since 2019, the youth program has grown substantially, from a single drop-in program to a multi-service program.

All programs and services are free.

Our Current Programs Include:

Supporting Seabird Youth After-School

Our daily youth drop-in program from 3-8pm provides a safe, engaging outlet for ages 13+ with:

  • Caring staff guidance in a fun atmosphere
  • Free meals to increase access and reduce barriers
  • Life skills programming like cooking, health education, fitness
  • Visits from Elders, nurses and counselors
  • Access to personal care items and resources

We aim to support personal growth, cultural connection, and preparation for bright futures during the critical after-school hours. Drop in weekdays for community, empowerment and to develop skills for adulthood.

Enriching Learning and Life Skills

Our School’s Out Ewolem Seabird program offers enrichment during non-school hours for ages 9-12 through:

  • Daily after-school drop-in classes
  • Daily homework tutoring sessions
  • Full-day camps during school breaks and summer

Funded by United Way, this empowering program began in 2020. We aim to support education, impart life skills, foster cultural connection, and provide a safe space for growth and fun. Drop in on weekdays or join our immersive, educational camp sessions.

Individualized Support for At-Risk Youth

Our Tes Outreach pilot program, launched in 2020 with Civil Forfeiture funding, provides customized support for over 50 moderate to high-risk Seabird Island youth through:

  • 1 clinical counselor
  • 3 dedicated outreach workers

This youth-centered team delivers flexible services tailored to each client’s unique needs and goals. By meeting youth where they’re at with compassion and cultural humility, we aim to foster relationships, community connection, and personal growth.

If you know a youth who could benefit from individualized guidance and support, please reach out. We’re here to walk alongside them on their journey.

Fostering Resilience Through Land-Based Healing

Beginning in 2015, Seabird Island partnered on the Youth on the Land pilot project to develop culturally-grounded strategies for promoting resilience and life promotion among Indigenous youth.

In collaboration with UFV, Fraser Health, FNHA and Stó:lō Nation, this research led to the creation of a youth resiliency model that continues to shape our programs today.

By reconnecting youth to ancient land-based wellness practices, we aim to impart tools to foster inner strength, cope with life’s challenges, and walk proudly into the future. The land holds wisdom – let us harvest it together.

Empowering Youth Through Leadership and Employment

Our youth-led programming fosters ownership and skill-building by hiring Seabird teens as paid mentors and youth workers. Since 2019, we’ve employed seven 16-18 year olds above minimum wage, with extensive training.

This provides critical real-world work experience, income, and mentorship in a community where employment barriers persist. By equipping youth with transferable skills, we help break cycles and prepare them for bright futures.

Youth programming developed by youth, for youth. Join us in cultivating the next generation of leaders and change-makers. The potential within each child is boundless.

Restoring Cultural Connections

A core part of our child and youth programs is providing cross-cultural education to reflect the many backgrounds of community members. We create opportunities to pass down ancestral teachings that colonization sought to eliminate.

By engaging youth in cultural learnings, we aim to foster pride in First Nations heritage and strengthen self-identity. When youth are rooted in who they are, they flourish.

Join us in reviving knowledge across generations. Through traditional practices, we impart tools to walk proudly into the future guided by the past. Reconnection supports resiliency.

Bridging Generations Through Cultural Exchange

Our child and youth programs foster intergenerational bonds by collaborating with Seabird Island’s Elders. We host joint seasonal dinners, invite elders as honored guests at events, and create opportunities for knowledge sharing.

By building bridges between youth and elders, we keep ancestral teachings alive. Elders impart wisdom to the next generation, and youth bring fresh perspectives.

Together, we are restoring lost cultural connections damaged by colonization. When generations listen and learn from one another, the community grows stronger. Let us move forward hand in hand, embracing both tradition and change.

Community-Driven Programming

Our child and youth programs are shaped by the needs of Seabird Island community members. We gather feedback through:

  • Formal and informal evaluations
  • Our Annual Child and Youth Program Feedback Dinner

As an extension of our services, we also host community events that promote family bonding such as Family Day celebrations, Children’s Festivals, and Movie Nights.

By listening to those we serve, we can nurture each child’s potential through cultural connection, skill-building, and tailored support on their journey to adulthood. Our programming evolves as our community grows. Let us continue walking together.

Empowering Youth Through Dedicated Care

Seabird Island’s Child and Youth Programs are delivered by a devoted team passionate about supporting our next generation. Through COVID-19 and beyond, these frontline staff have remained committed to youth wellbeing.

Our caregivers engage in ongoing training on trauma-informed approaches, counseling skills, cultural teachings, and more. By continuously developing our competencies, we can better nurture each child holistically.

It is our privilege to walk alongside families, providing tailored services that honor heritage and expand possibilities. Our youth inspire us each day. Let us equip them to shine brightly now and into the future.

Meet Our Team

Robert Dunning

Youth Program Coordinator

Karla Joseph

Youth Counsellor

Marissa Upshaw

Youth Outreach Worker

Youth Group & Outings Gallery

Seeking More Information?

Connect with Seabird Island Youth Programs

To learn more about our youth services or get involved:

Karla Joseph, Youth and Young Adult Counselor

Phone: 604-793-5738


Makayla Sam, School’s Out Program

Phone: 604-798-3407


Youth Center: 604-796-0198

Our Band Office

We offer empowering programs and counseling tailored to each stage of the youth journey. Let us support personal growth, cultural connection, and preparation for bright futures.