Our Impact

Changing lives and communities

Spirit North empowers children and youth to learn, grow, thrive and strengthen their communities through sport. Our programs have inspired life-changing transformations and meaningful community impact.

Stronger Schools

  • 98% attendance on Spirit North school ski days (versus 65% regularly)
  • 97% of students “looked forward to Spirit North ski days.”
  • Suspension numbers drop after Spirit North ski days.
  • 100% of educators say they would like Spirit North to return to their schools.

Better Health

  • Healthy, active lifestyles can help to prevent numerous health risks later in life.
  • 90% of Spirit North students learned that “exercise can help me feel better inside.”
  • 90% wanted to exercise more after participating in Spirit North programs.
  • 65% reported a change in eating and drinking habits after the nutrition presentation.
  • 80% of educators reported “positive changes in student behaviour” after participating in Spirit North.

Cultural Pride

  • Multi-community events promote cultural exchange and understanding. A recent Spirit North event featured Powwow drum and dance songs and Métis jig activities.
  • 95% of students “feel like I matter” after a day with Spirit North.
  • 95% “feel included and like I belong” while participating in our programs.
  • 89% “feel important” after a day with Spirit North.

Students speak out

  • 99% enjoyed ski days with Spirit North.
  • 93% “feel supported” while participating.
  • 89% felt “happy” after a ski day with Spirit North.
  • 87% learned that “when I try hard, I can accomplish something.”
  • 84% were “in a good mood” after a Spirit North ski day.
  • 76% “felt proud of my new skills” after a ski day.
  • 72% felt “confident” after a ski day.

Activity for Everyone

  • Spirit North has equipment that enables people of all physical abilities to experience cross-country skiing, including those in wheelchairs.

Community Legacy

  • Spirit North can train individuals to become NCCP-certified community coaches.
  • Communities often purchase their own cross-country ski equipment, including skis and track setting equipment, after Spirit North programs.
  • Four athletes from Spirit North communities qualified for the 2016 Alberta Winter Games team.
2016-2017 Highlights
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers
  • 32 communities visited
  • 36 schools visited
  • 6,023 student participants
  • 6,500 pairs of boots tied
  • 13,000 bindings clicked in
  • 2 multi-community festival days
  • 1 round dance
  • 245 multi-community festival participants
  • 2 loppets (races)
  • 120 loppet participants
  • 2 after school ski clubs and teams (50 participants)
  • 11 Olympic visitors and guest speakers

In the Media

  • 2017

“Spirit North reveals trail for indigenous health and fitness”
Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Historic Nakoda ski team debuts in Kananaskis”
Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Sunchild Students Take on Ski Fit”
Outdoor Life

“Sunchild students take on cross-country skiing”
The Mountaineer

“Northern Alberta ski race teaches First Nation children lesson in determination”
CBC Edmonton

“Enoch Cree students learn benefit of cross-country skiing”
Windspeaker News

“Two-time Olympic medalist Beckie Scott brings cross country skiing and happiness to Alberta communities”
We Are Alberta

“Olympic medalist Beckie Scott expands cross country skiing program in aboriginal schools”
Ski Trax Magazine

“Kikino puts the Ski in Skilled learning”
Lac La Biche Post

“Trail Blazers”
Ft McMurray Today

“Sunchild: Students have Outdoor Learning Experience”
The Mountaineer

“Kehewin students learn the joys of skiing”
Bonnyville Nouvelle

“Olympian’s skiing lessons pure gold for First Nations students”
Edmonton Journal

“Children who ski are better at school”
The Sportskid Whisperer

“Beckie Scott Leads Star-Studded Lineup of Canadian Athletes Ready to Inspire First Nations Students with Ski Day at Canmore Nordic Centre”
SIRC

Connect. Empower. Inspire.

Articles and research

“Kehewin students learn the joys of skiing”
Bonnyville Nouvelle

“Northern Alberta ski race teaches First Nation children lesson in determination”
CBC Edmonton

“Olympian’s skiing lessons pure gold for First Nations students”
Edmonton Journal

“Enoch Cree students learn benefit of cross-country skiing”
Windspeaker News

“Children who ski are better at school”
The Sportskid Whisperer

My Story

Dreytin 

Student, Alberta

“Ever since I was five I wanted to ski. It’s a dream come true for me”.

Season report

Last season, Spirit North visited over 30 schools and engaged more than 6,000 Indigenous children and youth.

Learn more in our 2016-2017 Annual Report.

“An amazing way to introduce youth to cross-country skiing in such a positive way!”
School Guidance Counsellor