Nikani Awtiken is back for its fourth year after successfully completing its third week-long youth training program–Nikani Awtiken–at Camp Rankin, St. Peters in 2014.

Nikani Awtiken is a Mi’kmaq phrase that means ”trail blazing” or “creating a new path.” Nikani Awtiken is designed to instil an interest in Mi’kmaq youth to pursue careers in natural resource management and confidence in Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge.

Access to career opportunities is critical to the future sustainability of our communities.The historical relationship of Mi’kmaq to the environment creates a natural fit for our youth in the field of natural resource management.

This program gives youth an opportunity to explore careers and academic options in natural resources, while gaining practical hands-on experience related to resource management and traditional perspectives of sustainability.

This past summer, Elders Judy Googoo, Joe Googoo, and Kerry Prosper taught participants about their culture, traditional management, and connection to the land.

With assistance from our partners at Nova Scotia Department of Education, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, and UINR we provided training in GPS, forestry management, boating safety, tree planting and fire safety. We also set aside plenty of time for swimming, canoeing, hiking and sports, and engaged the youth in Mi’kmaq cultural activities such as harvesting and making eel spears, telling stories and legends, and teaching beadwork and other crafts.

There’s no cost for participants. You must be 15 to 18 years old and in school. Deadline to apply is July 15, 2015.

For more information and to apply contact: Shanna Francis at or call (902) 379-2163