The recreation programmer position with K’atlodeeche First Nation has been filled after a nearly three-year vacancy. Alexa Tsetso, who recently moved from Fort Simpson to take on the position, said she’s ready to start from scratch to build programming.
Right now, she is in the process of establishing relationships on the Hay River Reserve and in Hay River in order to develop stable, consistent programming, and help engage all levels of the community in healthy activity.
Before her arrival in July, Tsetso worked for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs in a similar capacity, only her efforts were stretched throughout the Dehcho region and even throughout the NWT.
“This will be different in the sense that I can apply everything I did in my old job to one community,” said Tsetso. “It was the hardest thing to resign from a job I really valued and enjoyed, but it’s just as rewarding to come to a community where this position is really needed and wanted.”
While other band employees had taken on partial responsibilities of the recreation programmer, there was no one who was dedicated to the position full-time for the past three years.
Tsetso is anxious to start programming that includes sport, recreation and traditional activities for youth – with a focus on sport, since she’s an avid soccer player and coach.
“There are so many opportunities for kids to go places and travel with sports,” she said. “Just to know what it’s like to be part of a team and to learn how to work together is confidence-building.”
She’ll also develop programs and activities for elders and adults and engage all levels of the community in programming. But the initial focus is creating programs to engage youth, increase confidence, and provide a variety of activities to keep youth involved.
Right now, Tsetso is working behind the scenes with the community to get an idea of what kind of programming is needed and what will likely be successful. First on the agenda is meeting with the Chief Sunrise Education Centre and partnering with the band office and the school.
Alison Minoza, the recreation co-ordinator for the summer program, will act as assistant recreation co-ordinator to Tsetso.
Chief Roy Fabian is hoping increased activity will be part of the puzzle in engaging the community, and may help establish a more holistic mentality.
“To the Dene people, drum dances and hand games were spiritual activities,” he said. “A lot of times anything you did had to include spirituality. These are things we are really missing and these are the things that are important.”