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Nikaniw Logo

Nîkânîw means “one who leads the way” in Cree. Nîkânîw combines the cultural teachings and guidance of Indigenous Elders and Leaders with the instruction of water safety education, first aid, CPR and leadership skills. These program areas complement each other, teaching a respect for Mother Earth, and especially the element of water.

Participants have 2 years to complete the program. Registration and intake happens each year in August and September. However, we do take applicants in throughout the program year on a monthly basis as space is available.

Get Involved

Are you 13-22 years old, have Indigenous ancestry and are committed to training in aquatics? Join the program to learn about Indigenous culture and aquatic based skills for employment.

Program Components

  • Aquatic leadership skills
  • Cultural teaching 
  • Life skills
  • Pre-employment workshops

Year 1 Goals

  • Amenity Attendant
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Standard First Aid
Additional Awards That Can Be Earned
  • Bronze Medallion
  • Bronze Cross

Year 2 Goals

  • Bronze medallion
  • Bronze cross
  • Water safety instructor
  • National lifeguard and aquatic emergency care


  • Fill out the Application Form and participate in an interview with the Nîkânîw programmer
  • Indigenous Ancestry – First Nation, Métis, Inuit or other
  • 13-22 years old during the program season
  • Committed to training in aquatics
  • Able to commit to regularly attending the program
Participants Will Receive
  • A City of Edmonton Leisure Centre facility pass for the duration of enrollment
  • Program supplies and materials
  • A light meal each session
  • Aquatic leadership courses provided by the City of Edmonton

Program Fees

The Nîkânîw Programmer will provide the applicant with a barcode for registration once an interview is complete.

Payment will be paid in 2 installments. The first payment will need to be made by September and the second payment will need to be made by February. Each barcode will cost $100.

If additional installments need to be made, please contact the Programmer.

Note: Applicants who already possess Water Safety Instructor and the National Lifeguard/Aquatic Emergency Care certifications are ineligible for this program but may be suitable candidates for other aquatic related positions.


Clareview Recreation Centre


3804 139 Avenue


Monday: 5-8:30pm
Wednesday: 5-6:30pm

Mill Woods Recreation Centre


7207 28 Avenue


Tuesday: 5-8:30pm
Thursday: 5-6:30pm

For More Information

Raelee Hawkes

Title Nîkânîw Programmer


Fax 780-496-6910

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