A new innovative program created to support youth and provide an alternative to traditional group care is launching in Whitehorse. A wide range of services with a youth-led, culturally relevant approach will be offered at 22 Wann Road, now named Nts’ äw Chua (in-so chua).
In both the live-in and outreach programs, staff will work closely with youth to enhance their quality and security of life through empowerment, skill-building, and strong social connections. Youth will learn valuable life skills and set goals for their education, vocation, community involvement, housing, family, and overall health and mental wellness.
Youth will have access to a variety of qualified staff, including: a youth culinary mentor to teach meal planning and cooking; a natural supports liaison to help them connect with their family, culture and community; and a youth outreach worker to help them access community supports, develop life skills, and pursue their goals.
A committee of First Nations Elders and youth with lived experience was consulted to name the new program. Elder Hazel Bunbury of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council provided the name Nts’ äw Chua, which means “wild rhubarb little creek”, and is the traditional Southern Tutchone name for the Porter Creek neighbourhood.