Chelsea Migwi remembers a time in Behchokǫ̀ when young people had a lot to do in their spare time.
“I remember the first time they closed down the Sportsplex and I was in Grade 8 or Grade 9. After that, there was not much to do, other than sports, getting into travelling or going to college,”she said. “I remember when I was younger, they used to have a whole bunch of things such as canoe races and ball games. Now we don’t have that anymore.”
Now 28, she says youth in the community are struggling to find ways to occupy their time, especially since lockdown conditions were applied in the community due to COVID-19.
“Right now, everyone is staying home,” she said. “Hopefully most are going out on the land as much as they can. Others are not exactly sure about what they’re going to do.” She added, “Some kids, like my younger brother, go out and play soccer or baseball when they can. Otherwise, there’s not much organized for kids to do.”
But she, along with a small group of friends, is hoping to change that. They’re launching a youth council to find activities that will keep kids and older youth busy.
“It’s something all youth need in the communities so they can have a say for what they want in the community.”
The small group of six young women members held three meetings so far and plans are in the works to gain more members, especially young men.
They have a barbecue scheduled for Saturday as a way of introducing the group and its vision for the community.
“We’re not trying to be political or anything,” said Migwi. “We’re just a bunch of like-minded people who wanted to get together and create stuff for youth to do.”
She realizes the task before them may be difficult, considering they have no budget, but she’s hoping that as restrictions surrounding the Coronavirus are eased, in time, her group will see growth.
“Hopefully a lot of people will come out and ask questions. We’re going to have more meetings to discuss the next steps.”