Thunder Bay Youth Destroy Computers. Then Put Them Back Together Again. Perfectly.

This past Tuesday, we had the great privilege of spending a day in Thunder Bay with 15 youth from Indige-Spheres, an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of indigenous peoples domestically and globally, empowering youth through exploration and experience of multiple sources of knowledge. Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik, Executive Director and Force of Nature, was an amazing convenor/driver/MC, and we can’t wait to work together again.

The day started at the Nokiiwin Tribal Council Learning Centre in Thunder Bay with coffee, granola bars and introductions to Jessica, Eternity and Chinodin, Meschaquin, Donovan, Corey, Tyrese, Darius, Raquel, Tyson, Levina, Ashleigh, Matthew, Brianna and Jordyn.

Since 2016, reBOOT Canada has prioritized creating opportunities for indigenous youth – through collaborations with organizations like Miziwe Biik and Indigenous Services Canada, to which we’ve provided over 3,500 in paid skills development hours.

Thunder Bay on Tuesday was more fun than work though: after the coffee and granola we got into teams and played Drones, a game in which you have to dismantle a completely functional desktop workstation system – all power cables and connectors, peripherals, expose the chassis, remove the hard drive, remove the RAM – and hope you don’t lose any of the pieces!

After lunch of Indian Tacos from Kokum’s Bannock and Beyond, things got serious. Each youth were presented with a laptop chassis provided by reBOOT Canada, a battery, DDR4 RAM chips and a hard drive. Our Expert’s Expert Lars Verholt then patiently took the next three hours providing coaching, tidbits and life lessons about computers (“Computers can’t do anything on their own!”) to these future leaders.

We had such a great time with the excellent Indige-Spheres team, and we really appreciated Nokiiwin Tribal Council’s hospitality – thank you Mino-niigaanendmowin Coordinator Scott Baker. We’ll keep these memories close and look forward to more reBOOT Canada Boot Camps in the North in the upcoming months.