The youth at Welke House are a creative bunch.
Inspired by their skills, youth care worker Jill Harnett brought in a friend to show them traditional Indigenous beading.
“I feel it's my responsibility to keep their culture and traditions alive while in care,” Jill said. “I got inspired by just the group we have right now. We have a lot of creative youth in our house and I wanted to expand their talents.”
Shanel, who is teaching the youth about beading, has experience making her own regalia. During her lesson, she explained how these activities are important in Indigenous culture.
“Unfortunately, in some of the youth’s communities they experience so much negativity, and we hope with beading we can show joy, pride, and accomplishment in finishing this project,” Jill said. “We have some youth that have troubles with anxiety, so this activity should bring them better coping skills and something to help them stay busy.”
At Ranch Ehrlo, we have a committee made up of staff that focuses on truth and reconciliation throughout the agency. Each month they come up with activities and learning opportunities for participants. For December, the focus has been on art.
Our staff also bring CARE into everything they do. With beading, they’ve created a therapeutic environment where youth can achieve a goal while also being challenged. This helps them grow as individuals.
“These kids are capable of so much,” Jill said. “While some initially felt they couldn’t complete the task, they pulled through with the support of adults. They are finishing something that is going to be so special to them in the end.”
Ranch Ehrlo’s group living programs help youth achieve the best outcome. Staff provide youth with opportunities for greater independence and help them build life skills.