Turtle Island Youth Program

 A focal point for all Aboriginal youth-related issues and activities, the Turtle Island Youth Program provides somewhere where youth can feel relaxed, safe and free in a culturally appropriate atmosphere

This program offers activities to improve the academic, social and economic prospects of the participants There are daily themed activities, student awareness initiatives, and outreach programs. Some of these activities include drum making, crafting, recreational activities, and outdoor activities.

This program is made possible by the Federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, through the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth Program. It is also made possible by RBC and Kids Eat Smart Foundation 


Aboriginal Scholarship


For more information about our great youth programs please see the descriptions below oe feel free to  contact us.

Youth Employment Services

The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre offers employment services to youth members. The prgram aims to assist individualsin the successful completion of education, attaining employment, as well as enhancing the necessary skills for future career aspirations. The goal of this program is to help participants move confidently into the labour force by developing, expanding, and highlighting each person’s individual skills.

Youth Drumming

Turtle Island Youth realize the importance and significance of drumming in Aboriginal culture. Teachings on the drum are provided to youth at an early age, creating an appreciation for tradition and spirituality. Youth learn rhythmic beats of the drum, chants, and differences between songs for healing and songs for entertainment. Through drumming, youth also learn about respect, cultural significance of Elders, passing of knowledge and the spirit of the drum.

There are three drum groups affiliated with the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, Eastern Owl, Wapek Muin and Strength of the Drum. These drum groups often share their teachings with youth and perform at many events in partnership with the SJNFC.

Play Group

Wednesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm

This activity is for parents/caregivers and children (5 years of age and under) to meet in a safe welcoming space for family fun intended to honor and embrace the Aboriginal culture. Many aboriginal symbols and traditions are incorporated into the planning and implementation of this program.

Turtle Island Summer Camp

The Turtle Island Summer Program is an 8 week summer camp for children between the ages of 5-12. The program provides a summer filled with fun activities that follow a theme for each day of the week for 8 weeks. The program includes outings, time spent within the Youth Centre, and at local parks near the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre. The activities create a pleasurable approach to learning and skill building.

Registation is required for this program. Please contact us for more details

After School Program

Funded by the Royal Bank of Canada, the After School Program provides youth with a safe environment where they can learn and reinforce basic skills such as cooperation, team-building, and conflict resolution. The After School Program at the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre has been nationally recognized by RBC as having one of the best youth projects in the country.


There are 3 components to the afterschool program.

The Royal Eagles Backpack program:

Returning to school in the fall can be a very stressful time for students and their families. Often, a major stressor is the added expense of school supplies. Thanks to RBC’s Royal Eagles Backpack Program, children of the youth program and the centre’s membership are provided quality backpacks filled with vital school supplies before the start of the school year.

Healthy Snack Program

Funded by the Kids Eat Smart Foundation, the Healthy Snack Program provides participants with a nutritional snack daily. Healthy eating patterns during childhood and adolescence not only promote proper growth and development, but can lead to overall improved health and decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Nutritional eating can also lead to better school performance and behavior.

Homework Program

September to June, Monday to Friday staff are available between the hours of 2:00pm-4:00pm for homework help or tutoring.

Tutoring occurs at the request of parents or youth. Staff are available to work one on one with youth to help meet their individual needs. Staff combine personal instruction with independent learning to ensure each child not only understands homework concepts, but also learns how to apply those skills for a deeper level of learning. Homework time becomes less stressful and a lot more fun.

The Homework and Tutoring Program is also an opportunity for older youth to become a leader and mentor to younger youth by assisting with homework. This has solidified the importance to stay in school and achieve good grades and attendance. Drop-out rates are highest in the Aboriginal population and support is needed to reduce this barrier so that youth can succeed in school and graduate high school in order to obtain successful.


Please contact us for more details