Niagara Peninsular Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB)

By Linda Kraan-Benson

Well today, as I write this, it is Thanksgiving Day.  This year, for me and many others, it will be a quiet time, a time of reflection and gratitude.  As I sink further into my 7th decade, my thoughts are of peace, tolerance, respect & acceptance.  I have witnessed many acts of violence and war over the years, yet what happened on this Thanksgiving Day weekend, was the absolute worse of atrocities.  As I reflect, I am grateful and blessed to have been born just after the Second World War, in England, where at young age, I was taught that the lives of others, no matter their ethnicity, their faith and/or their own cultural norms, need to be respected and honoured, so that these wars, this criminal behavior and these weapons of hate, will prevent other wars.  Unfortunately, in the past few years, we have seen and heard of increased hate among leaders of certain countries, we have witnessed or heard of the crimes perpetrated against innocents.

I ask you to help me pray for peace, for reconciliation and for the bringing of all peoples together.

This will be my final post in our community news paper, The Gala Herald.  It has been an honour and a privilege to have shared my stories, no matter how casual or professional, with you all.

You may still see me, with my walking poles, walking around the Barton Street area, if so, please stop and say Hello.

So my final story is about how the former Yoga studio, on Barton Street is now being used.  It has been revamped and renovated as a school of learning for the Niagara Peninsular Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB).  I popped my head in the door a few weeks back and was met by two delightful ladies.  I was given a tour of the facilities, as it has been changed quite a bit since I took my yoga lessons there.  I learned so much about the vision for this center, and the many other centers throughout Ontario. What used to be the yoga studio is now a training room, more like a class room.  There were quite a few people in attendance on the day I had my tour.

This is an Aboriginal Employment and Training Agency, which provides training and program support plus services and referrals to the urban Aboriginal youth population between the ages of 15 to 30.

Some of the classes offered are: Apprenticeship & training, Individual & group employment training & placement, Stay in school initiatives & summer employment.

There are many workshops being offered, which run from 8 to 10 weeks.

Grants and funding is available on an individual basis.  These monies go to providing bus passes, and/or help with tuition fees.

Once a year there is a free annual conference held, over three days.  At these conferences there is a variety of teachings, talks and much more, all related to indigenous knowledge and career pathways.

I found this to be a wonderful initiative.  Their mandate is in helping to increase confidence & self esteem and to encourage leadership abilities for the Indigenous Youth.  Whether help is needed with housing, food security, mental health & addictions, law & justice, cultural safety and/or abuse issues, this agency is the place to go.  If you know if an indigenous youth in crisis, please pass this information on.  Walk-ins are welcome and this is a free and confidential service.

You will find them on facebook and you can reach them via their website.


ADDRESS:  335 BARTON STREET E (close to Helping Hands & Barton Lettuce)

OPENEING HOURS: Mon-Fri, 8.30 to 4.30pm (closed on weekends)

Advocacy,  Support  & Guidance for:

First Nations, Metis, Inuit and self identified urban Indigenous youth.