After a few weeks on the job, the Hay River Reserve’s new recreation co-ordinator says things are really starting to come together.“It’s been going pretty good,” said Alexa Tsetso. “I’m really liking the community and everyone I’ve been working with. My assistant co-ordinator Alison Minoza and my colleagues at the band office have been great.”
Tsetso left her job with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs in Fort Simpson to take the position with K’atlodeeche First Nation (KFN). While it was a hard move to make, she said that, with a few weeks under her belt at her new job, the fall and winter programming is already starting to take shape.
Currently in the works is a snowshoeing program for the winter that Tsetso hopes to offer through Chief Sunrise Education Centre. She has gotten the community gym open again, and said she has started to see an increase in use.
“We’re also looking at running a preteen girls group that will get started this week. It will be kind of like the PHAB girls’ group in town, but it’ll be offered for the girls on the reserve,” she said. “There is the girl power group that’s run through the school, but doesn’t start ’til November. We’ll work with them until then, and keep in partnership to keep the program operational. They’ve had this in the past, and there is definite interest to keep it going this year.”
Her efforts are not just limited to the Hay River Reserve.
“Last week, we did an Elders in Motion training in Enterprise, and Nordic walking leader training. We’re looking at offering that in the community, as well,” Tsetso said.
Nordic walking is essentially a cross between hiking and cross-country skiing. It’s done with running shoes or lightweight hiking boots and ski poles, and the motion resembles an over-emphasized hiking stride.
“It’s almost like a full-body exercise,” Tsetso explained. “You’re using all of your body in the movement. It’s kind of like walking with ski poles. Your arms are moving; you’re using your torso. It’s a great way to become active.”
Tsetso had never tried the workout herself until the Enterprise workshop, but she thinks it will catch on quickly on the reserve.
“I enjoyed it,” she said. “To be honest, I never really gave it enough credit. I’m pretty active, so I thought, ‘I’ll give this a try.’ We already have the poles in the community.”
Tsetso is glad to be fitting into her new role.
“I’m just happy to have some programming up and running,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the winter months. I really enjoy snowshoeing. I’m looking forward to taking members out into the community to snowshoe.”
— Jesse Winter