Adventure therapy is designed to enhance the support work done in the health, mental health, education, justice and related human service fields. The 7th Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium (CATS7) is an opportunity for over 100 delegates, including educators, traditional knowledge-keepers, therapists, professionals and students to gather. Together, they share best practices related to connecting people to the land as a means to heal oneself and community. The event is being co-hosted by the Boys and Girls Club Yukon (BGCY), Big Brothers Big Sisters Yukon, Youth of Today Society, BYTE, Skookum Jim Friendship Centre and the Kwanlin Dün Youth Advisory Council.

Lindsay Cornell, executive director of Boys and Girls Club Yukon, was first approached to host the national event several years ago, but it wasn’t the right timing. (The inaugural event was a collaboration between Royal Roads University and the Boys and Girls Club Victoria, so the youth organization has history with the event.)

“I got a phone call asking if we wanted to host,” Cornell said. “But I said it was too early. “When the call came again, I asked the other groups if they wanted to do it together. It’s about leading differently. Not because we have to, but because we want to.”

The event will highlight some keynote speakers, including Margot Talbot, co-author of Waterfall Ice Climbs in the Canadian Rockies and  the author of All That Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression, and Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston. The conference also presents an opportunity for the south to meet the North, and see where the common issues exist.

“It’s really sharing and learning north and south,” Cornell said. “Often (the North) can be seen as different, but we actually have a lot in common.”

Over the two-day conference, the various workshops will focus on accomplishing three things; celebrating the success stories in the field, connecting those engaging in adventure therapy, and enhancing the skills and knowledge of all those in attendance.