Help promote cross-cultural understanding – Sign up for the Canadian Roots Exchange!

Founders of Canadian Roots

Aboriginal Studies professor Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux with Canadian Roots Exchange founders David Berkal and Ronan MacParland, February 2009.

Canadian Roots is “a week long road trip that takes First Nations, Inuit, Métis and non-Indigenous Canadians around Canada’s provinces to visit and learn from our country’s Indigenous communities.” – CanadianRoots.ca

Youth who apply for this 9-day cultural exchange program have the opportunity to travel and see diverse regions of Canada, while immersing themselves in unique aboriginal communities. The aim of the trip is to foster an open dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, in order to build long-lasting and trustworthy relationships.

Canadian Roots hosts trips every year from May to August. This year they are having one in Ontario and one in Nova Scotia. The one in Ontario takes place July 27th to August 5th in Moosonee/Moose Factory. Applications have already been accepted, but the trip for Nova Scotia is still open. It will be taking place August 9th to 16th in Halifax. The deadline for application is this Sunday, July 18th.

Currently, the entire program costs $600, and this includes all food, transport and accommodations. If this fee is prohibitive, needs-based scholarships ARE available.

For more information on Canadian Roots check out their website. There you can read more about past exchanges and watch a promotional video. I would also suggest filling out their exchange interest form, in order to be notified when they start accepting future applications.

Exchanges like these are a great opportunity to learn about Aboriginal cultures and experience the realities they face from an internal perspective.

So this summer why don’t you explore, educate, and engage with Canadian Roots!

By Flavia Kajoba

* Photo Courtesy of U of T Magazine.