Coyote Kids is a free Weekly Indigenous Culture program for Indigenous children or children of Indigenous ancestry ages of 6 – 12 years. Coyote Kids began in 1997 and was created by former Executive Director/founder of Bent Arrow, Brad Seneca.
The program is non-funded and operates through generous donations or fundraising. Coyote Kids meets every Monday evening from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Bent Arrow/Parkdale School, 11648-85 Street, Edmonton, Alberta. It operates from September to June. Registration takes place once per year in mid-September. The program is full every year with a maximum of 30 children.
We are staffed by the Coyote Pride Indigenous Program Supervisor and Indigenous Program Coordinators and have parent volunteers, Junior Leaders or people from the community who volunteer to help with the programming or supervision.
How it works?
In Coyote Kids, the children participate and learn about cultural activities, teachings, and ceremonies and earn badges towards Indigenous Culture for example, Medicine badge, Tipi teaching badge, Respect badge, etc. Just like Girl Guides and Scouts but we are not affiliated with these programs.
The teachings and lessons are done through hands-on learning, visually, and orally with arts and crafts, field trips, stories, Guest Speakers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Learning about their heritage and culture is a very important part of the program.
In June of each year, we have the Awards/Badge Night. The children get a free Coyote Kids t-shirt for their uniforms and badges are purchased yearly for the children to earn. We give out the Coyote Moon Award with a plaque given to the coyote kid who showed the most improvement throughout the year.
In the summer months, we run the Coyote Kids Cultural Camp for the children in the program. Which can be overnight or day camps. Our focus for this camp is a wilderness setting where the children would be able to learn about their ancestral ways of life through teachings on the land. We participate in Smudge ceremonies, go Medicine picking, go to a Sweat Lodge, go on field trips, go to elder teachings and much more. Even though the camp is based on Indigenous traditional values, beliefs, and culture, we have sporting activities such as traditional games, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and games, swimming, and horseback riding. This part of the program is dependent on funding.