A major change has been made to this 23rd Annual Spirit Seekers Youth Conference. In the past, the event was open to those aged 11 to 29 years old, but that has been pulled back to just include those 14 to 17 years old.
Spirit Seekers Co-ordinator for the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Sheila Moerkoert says the decision to change the age range was made after receiving feedback from both attendees and speakers.
“It was a bit of a challenge for them to accommodate in a session [for] an 11-year-old and then a 29-year-old,” Moekoert says. “So the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre board of directors decided this year, let’s try something new, and let’s have a conference for those ages 14 to 17 years old.”
Moekoert adds with the decision to focus specifically on one age group during this event, announcements will be coming for future events for other age groups.
The event starts Friday, March 17th with an opening ceremony at the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Theatre. The opening ceremony will include a grand entry, traditional dancers, and the Spirit Seekers role model awards. Fallon Farinacci is this year’s keynote speaker for opening night.
“She is Red River Métis, and a child survivor, advocate, and speaker for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women,” Moekoert says. “We are really excited to be hosting Fallen at this year’s opening ceremonies.”
She adds those looking for more information on the conference can find it on the Spirit Seekers Facebook page. Registration for closes on March 3rd.