Indigenous Roots – Girls’ Outdoor Leadership

Increasing confidence through culturally-relevant leadership development and experiential outdoor learning

Indigenous Roots is Minerva BC’s outdoor leadership program for Indigenous girls from the Lower Mainland. We believe the most profound way to create change in the world is by supporting opportunities for young Indigenous women. The Indigenous Roots program helps participants develop their confidence, courage and community for a positive future. 

We believe building the leadership potential of an Indigenous girl creates a ripple effect in her family and community as she passes on her wisdom.

Minerva’s mission is to celebrate and strengthen the voices of Indigenous women and girls in BC.

About our pilot year 2017

In 2017, we launched Combining Our Strength™ Indigenous Roots, a unique program for 25 girls aged 13 to 19. Over the course of a year, participants increased their confidence through culturally-relevant leadership development and experiential outdoor learning. 


  • Identify and strengthen participants’ self-awareness, individual and group responsibilities, social awareness and resilience
  • Connect with nature and Indigenous cultural content to increase sense of identity and belonging
  • Provide Indigenous girls with the tools to contribute to social, economic, spiritual and cultural development.


March – December, 2018


Workshops to take place mainly in Vancouver and outdoor activities to happen throughout Lower Mainland. 


  • A 5-day “kick off retreat in Merritt, BC
  • Workshops with keynotes:
    • Values-based leadership
    • Finding your strengths
    • Building Networks
    • Finding a Sponsor/Mentor
    • Cultural healing
  • Exciting outdoor day adventures throughout the year
  • 21-Day Expedition around Vancouver Island’s most stunning locations

How to apply

Indigenous Roots is a cost-free program thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.

For more information, contact: Ashley Milbury, Youth Programs Coordinator

Watch a highlight video from Indigenous Roots 2017

View a photo album from Indigenous Roots 2017

“The story goes…this young girl was born to be a leader, but she was scared that she would never do a good enough job. So she ran away…until one day she saw herself in water, and didn’t recognize herself. She realized, ‘I can do this. I was born to do this.’ And she returned to her community to fulfill her role.”

Lisa Tallio – Director of Combining Our Strength™ and Minerva’s resident storyteller