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PLT Canada green leader organizes virtual family ice fishing derby

March 17, 2021

A fishing rod standing upright next to a hole in the ice.

Blaze Head, a high school student and member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), organized a virtual family ice fishing derby on Saskatchewan River from Umpherville to BigEddy.

OCN Community members can fish on their own time between March 15–21 and send in a recorded video for the chance to win over $3,000 in prizes in categories like biggest fish, ugliest fish and keeping the tradition alive (teaching your child how to fillet a fish)! And there’s already an early contender for most fish caught.

“Day one went great,” said Blaze. “Someone went crazy and caught 22 fish!”

He planned the event as part of Project Learning Tree Canada’s (PLT Canada) Green Leaders program. Blaze also partnered with the Opaskwayak Health Authority’s Mino-Pimatisewin Program, OCN CFS Family Enhancement, Jr O&O, OCN Recreation and OCN Youth Centers to put on the COVID-safe event.

“My project’s goal is to teach the young or other older community members how to fish,” said Blaze. “I hope to better engage the community with the rich land resources around here.”

A family sitting around an ice fishing hole, next to an ice fishing tent

The high school student also participated in the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) this past summer, where he got hands-on forestry experience with tasks like tree planting and brush cutting. OYEP is a PLT Canada Green Jobs employer—PLT Canada offers a 50 per cent wage match to hire youth aged 15–30 in the forest, conservation or parks sectors.

“I applied for my Green Job because I really like the outdoors and doing good deeds for the environment,” said Blaze. “My favourite part was meeting lifetime friends and all the knowledge and experience I gained.”

About PLT Canada’s Green Leaders Program

PLT Canada believes in a society that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests and the great outdoors. In January, the organization launched the Green Leaders Program, which involves mentorship, skill development, and community action. The green leaders, aged 15-25, plan and implement a community-based project which could be an event, campaign or another initiative of their choice! Participants receive up to $1,500 from PLT Canada to deliver their project along with training and development workshops to help support their success. During the four-month program, the green leaders are also matched with mentors from the forest and conservation sector to help them complete their project and plan their green career pathway.

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