Every summer for the past three years, Indigenous youth in care have gathered on the shores of Bark Lake in Kawartha-Haliburton to learn about their language, culture, and identity. The Bark Lake Youth Conference, first held at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto in 2012, is one way that the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and its member Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) are ensuring Indigenous youth in care remain connected to their roots.
The ongoing event is part of the broader framework of reconciliation and is an opportunity to rebuild relationships with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in Ontario.
Blake, one of the youth in care who attended the Bark Lake gathering for the past two summers, generously shared his experiences with OACAS.
Watch his story now: