The Elementary Mentoring Program objectives are:
- To provide a small group setting, where Indigenous students can feel more comfortable discussing any difficulties they may be facing in or out of the school environment, with supportive adults
- To foster a sense of belonging in the school setting and ease their transition from elementary to secondary school
- To provide youth with the opportunity to learn more about and develop pride in Indigenous cultures
- To provide opportunities for youth to learn, develop, and practice healthy relationships skills
- To provide mental health awareness and promotion and participate in positive well-being exercises and activities
The Elementary mentoring program is a year-long group mentoring program for Indigenous grade 7 and 8 students. The mentoring program engages youth through culture, relationship skills and Indigenous role models. There are 16 weekly one hour sessions included in the program.
The program is based on the Medicine Wheel cycles:
- Beginning in the Fall (West/Spiritual quadrant), the students participate in sessions to explore their own likes and interests, learn the Creation Story, and discuss how to create a positive attitude and atmosphere.
- Moving into the Winter (North/Physical quadrant) the sessions cover topics such as bullying, healthy eating, and current representation of Indigenous people in the media.
- After a break for the holidays, the Spring (East/Emotional quadrant) teaches students about sharing and listening, goal setting, healthy choices, and drug use and abuse.
- Finally, moving in the Summer (South/Mental quadrant) there are sessions on communication skills, dealing with peer pressures, finding personal strengths, and dealing with peer conflicts
The Medicine Wheel format provides a holistic learning experience, integrating healthy relationship skills with cultural pride, and engaging students who may not otherwise feel a connection with their schools
The cultural aspects in this program are from Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe traditional teachings. Other communities and nations may use these teachings, alternative versions, or completely different teachings and wisdom. Some cultural pieces, such as the circle concept are more universal and can be applied to a wide range of customs from various locations.