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Northern Youth Leadership (NYL) brings together youth from across the Northwest Territories for remote land-based programming in our spectacular territory.

NYL programming facilitates the development of leadership skills, life skills, emotional resilience, and helps youth develop the inner and outer resources needed to overcome challenges, reach their full potential, and create positive change in their communities. Programming is FREE for all participants. NYL covers all camp-related costs including return airfare from their home community.

NYL was started by two Yellowknifers that experienced first-hand the sense of accomplishment and confidence that comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone and realizing a goal. They wanted to share this transformational experience with youth from across the NWT and started Northern Youth Leadership (formerly Taiga Camp). NYL continues this legacy by offering a diverse range of unique and innovative programming for youth.

In 2021, NYL hosted the following camps:

Spring Climate Change Camp: 11 youth spent a week living and learning on the land at B. Dene Adventures Lodge. Youth discussed climate change impacts and explored how to adapt and take action in their communities. Youth also checked fish nets, cut fish, learned to embroider and sew slippers, and spent time playing games and being active outside.

North Arm Advanced Leadership Canoe Camp: 11 youth paddled over 100kms from Yellowknife towards Behchokǫ along the North Arm of Great Slave Lake. When they weren’t paddling, youth enjoyed camping, swimming, and practicing land skills.

Ingraham Trail Leadership Canoe Trip: 11 youth spent a week paddling in the Ingraham Trail area outside Yellowknife, and had fun hiking, swimming, berry picking, building land skills, and learning about Dene Laws.

NYL Leadership Development Program (LDP): 14 youth participated in an employment and mentorship program that builds skills, capacity and experience. The LDP is for NWT youth aged 14 – 25 and offers youth training and certifications, work experience, and individualized mentorship.  The LDP prepares youth for employment in high-demand careers including tourism, environmental stewardship, on-the-land programming and youth programming.

Due to staffing transitions, Northern Youth Leadership will not be offering summer programming in 2022. We will publish our fall programming plans in September 2022. 

Northern Youth Leadership is a project on MakeWay’s shared platform, which provides operational supports, governance, and charitable expertise for change-makers. The shared platform enables more time and money to go towards achieving greater impact. MakeWay is a national charity that builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together.

For further information on NYL, our programs, or to get involved as a participant, sponsor or team member – please contact us.


To empower and inspire a generation of courageous young northern leaders.


To provide on the land personal growth, leadership opportunities, and connections that empower young people to create positive change.


  • Inspire confidence in youth by challenging self-imposed limitations
  • Cultivate independence
  • Develop leadership skills 
  • Instill healthy relationships and lifestyles
  • Promote lifelong learning and the pursuit of interests

• Resilience • Respect • Inclusiveness • Accountability • Well being • Youth connection