Project George is an outdoor education program developed by the former Deputy Chief of Moose Cree First Nation. The program was created in response to a youth suicide crisis in Moose Factory which claimed the lives of many teenagers in 2009. An elder advised the Deputy Chief to, "...take the youth out into the bush. Nothing fancy, just take them out." The elder's idea was to teach the youth what his grandparents had taught him as a boy.
To get started, Project George needed substantial funding to purchase equipment and pay for staff. The Deputy Chief gave MacLeod Farley and Associates a call. We had lived in the community and knew about the suicide epidemic. Pauline had personally taught some of the youth at risk in that area. We were highly motivated to help in any way possible.
Each year since that call, MacLeod Farley and Associates has volunteered with Project George to help raise funds in order to cover the basic operating expenses of the camps. To date, we have raised over $500,000 for the program and have assisted with financial planning, organizational development, training, outreach and marketing.
Project George now enables groups of youth to travel to nearby camps for three to ten days at a time, year-round. While at the camp, they learn about their ancestors' way of life, bush survival skills, and seasonal activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing. They also learn about the value of hard work, the healing power of the land and their Treaty rights to hunt and fish in their traditional territory.
Project George has been running for 10 years to date, and it is saving lives. MacLeod Farley and Associates continues to fundraise for and support Project George.