How We Work

We strive to empower Indigenous youth to make positive changes in their lives by offering a wide range of services, resources, and opportunities. We recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work best, and provide a framework shaping how we work with and respond to our youth across programs, while empowering staff to make decisions and take action. Our guiding philosophy integrates both Indigenous and western perspectives, connecting to traditional teachings, cultural practices, and beliefs. In everything we do here at UNYA, we take into account an understanding of trauma, aim to accept youth without judgment, and respect youth as experts in their own lives.

Success Stories

Success Stories

Learn more about the talented youth at UNYA, and the successes we celebrate.

Learn more about the talented youth at UNYA, and the successes we celebrate.

Amiel Flett-Brown

Youth Feature - Amiel Flett-Brown

Amiel Flett-Brown’s first trip to the Burnaby Velodrome’s indoor cycling track, with Urban Native Youth Association’s AYF Sports & Rec Program, sparked a passion for cycling that he says completely changed the direction of his life. Hurtling around a steep track (banked up to 47 degrees in the corners), on …

Read more about Amiel Flett-Brown

Leila Williams

Youth Feature - Leila Williams

A long-time participant in programming, Leila Williams’ life and educational experience go far beyond her years. Leila’s involvement with UNYA goes back to when she was just 12 years old, and began a mentorship with our Mentorship Program. Leila became regularly active at the Native Youth Learning Centre (NYLC) and …

Read more about Leila Williams

Dustin McGladrey

Youth Feature - Dustin McGladrey

Speaking with Dustin McGladrey, , you’d be surprised to learn that he hasn’t always been an enthusiastic champion of Indigenous culture. These days, you can hear Dustin broadcast across Alberta on CFWE FM. On Saturday mornings, he’s hosting Conversational Cree – a radio program dedicated to nehiyawewin (Cree language) resurgence …

Read more about Dustin McGladrey


Youth Feature - Jack

Talented musician and MC extraordinaire, Jack’s began sharing his gifts and honing his skills through UNYA’s Overly Creative Minds (OCM) Program in 2011. He originally connected with UNYA for a job search, but once he found the music program, he was hooked. Since then, he has used opportunities not only …

Read more about Jack



Learn more about some of our hardworking volunteers.

Learn more about some of our hardworking volunteers.


Volunteer - Chantal

Chantal began volunteering at UNYA in September of 2014. Her journey at UNYA began with our Mentorship Program. UNYA’s Mentorship Program is for Indigenous youth ages 12 to 15. Indigenous youth who are seeking support, advice, and guidance are matched with volunteer mentors from the community. When she applied, we …

Read more about Chantal

Garrett Johnson

Volunteer - Garrett Johnson

Walk into the UNYA’s dojo on a weeknight and you will see firsthand the importance of health and fitness to young participants in our Aboriginal Youth First (AYF) Sports and Rec program. Hundreds of youth come through that door every year, looking to get active in a fun, inclusive, and …

Read more about Garrett Johnson




"I've struggled with family problems and through UNYA I've increased my self-esteem and worked on anger management. I'm working towards living a balanced life; healthy body and healthy mind.”

- UNYA Youth Participant

“We have seen lives saved, families strengthened, and amazing futures shaped. It is nothing less than an honour to be part of this work.”

- Linda Adams, President, Coming Home Society