French activity for seniors

French activity for seniors
French activity for seniors

This fall, the NWT Health Network will add two new components to its Healthy Aging in the NWT program.

Healthy Aging is funded by the New Horizons programwhose budget for the NWT was announced at the Laurent-Leroux house by MP Michael McLeod on June 25.

A sports and fitness component by and for seniors will be operational at the end of September. That same month, a workshop-course-conference component will start. “We will present topics that affect seniors,” says the general director of the TNO Health NetworkChristian Hirwa. The topics are currently being validated.

NWT Senior Society Executive Director; Karen Willey; Rosie Benning, Manager of the Collège Nordique Language School; Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories; Roxanne Valade, President of the TNO Health Network; and Jean-François Pitre, President of the Fédération franco-ténoise.

The community garden component has already begun, he recalls. “This summer, we are exploring shared gardens, one in Yellowknife, in front of the Fieldhouse, and the other in Fort Smith.”

In Yellowknife, only one person has registered so far.

Even though the season is already underway, it is still possible to be part of the activity, and it is free. In Yellowknife, the Réseau itself manages the event, while in Fort Smith, Marie-Christine Aubrey is in charge.

“This project responds to the growing needs of our aging Francophone population in the Northwest Territories,” said Roxanne Valade, President of the Réseau Santé TNO. “Following a survey conducted in February 2023, we identified the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, including the isolation and loneliness of seniors. In response, Healthy Aging in the NWT aims to create an inclusive space where our seniors can come together, share and thrive.”

To share knowledge and experience

At the press conference, MP Michael McLeod announced that $280,000 would be allocated to twelve projects in Yellowknife, Hay River, Tuktoyaktuk, Tulita and TsiigehtchicThe MP recalled that elderly people will represent almost 25% of the population in 2051.

“We need to plan for the future and be prepared to support an aging population,” he said. “This program provides a contribution to organizations that help seniors be more connected and active members of their communities.” […] This creates opportunities where older people can share their knowledge, talents and experience for the benefit of others.”

Funding provided by Horizons will be used for a one-day event in Yellowknife, which will bring together Elders from Hay River, Fort Smith, Behchoko, Yellowknife Dene First Nation and the Yellowknife Senior Society to collect participants’ thoughts about redefinitions and examples of elder abuse.

« Nous planifions de nous rendre dans le Sahtu pour donner le même atelier à l’automne, a précisé la directrice générale de la NWT Senior Society, Karen Willey. Nous aurons alors consulté toutes les régions des TNO. […] Des ébauches des définitions seront alors envoyées aux participants pour vérification. Alors nous publierons les nouvelles définitions et nous commencerons à travailler avec le gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest et les organismes pour utiliser ces exemples et ces définitions dans programmes et le support aux ainés qui risquent de subir de l’abus. »

At the French-speaking Nordic College

As for the project of Nordic Collegeas it did last year, it is using funding from the federal program to pair youth with Indigenous elders. Previously, 20 community members shared their time with a dozen Dene elders and learned about the culture and language.

“With the decline of Indigenous cultures and languages, in an effort to achieve reconciliation, this sharing by elders is very important to the community,” said the College’s language school manager, Rosie Benning.



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