Youth for Lateral Kindness

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Welcome! We are pleased that you have decided to visit our website. This has been a long-time in the making, and we are so glad to finally have a website for our business! 


We'd like to take this opportunity to give thanks to our nation of Kwanlin Dün, our Elders, and supporters, and a special thanks to our mentors Marilyn, Thomas, Gyde, Les, and Caroline. Without you we wouldn't be where we are today.


Youth for Lateral Kindness was started by Teagyn and Aurora (unofficially) in September 2016. Before that, we were a part of the V2K Warriors project, which was a youth-led initiative created to address lateral violence among youth in our community of Kwanlin Dün First Nation. 


You're probably asking yourself, what exactly is Lateral Violence?


The short answer: being violent to your peers or members of your own group. This violence can be physical violence, but the lateral violence we address is emotional. This form of lateral violence can come from your peers, family members, friends, and from members within your community.  


Some examples of Lateral Violence:

  • Belittling 
  • Back stabbing
  • Icy Glares
  • Name calling
  • Mean sarcasm


Sounds kind of like bullying, huh? But the difference with lateral violence is with its roots. Unlike bullying, lateral violence exists because of colonization, oppression, and inter-generational trauma from residential schools, and the ongoing experiences of racism and discrimination. 


The Native Women's Association of Canada defines lateral violence as: 


"When a powerful oppressor has directed oppression against a group for a period of time, members of the oppressed group feel powerless to fight back and they eventually turn their anger against each other."




“How can we as youth stop lateral violence?”


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Photo by: Gyde Shepherd


So, how can we as youth stop lateral violence?


We know that lateral violence is a learned behaviour, that can be unlearned. While we recognize that we can't completely eradicate lateral violence through one workshop, we can at least educate our peers so that the next time they are faced with lateral violence they can choose to change their behaviour in the moment.


If you are interested in hosting a youth workshop for your community, please see our services section.


As a part of our workshops, we were trained by Respectful Workplace on how to facilitate the Blanket Exercise. As our lateral violence workshops are only meant for indigenous youth, the blanket exercise provides an opportunity of learning for all ages and walks of life. The Blanket Exercise is a great educational tool for non-indigenous people to learn about our shared-history. 


We are very thankful to be able to facilitate this meaningful exercise, and we encourage you to visit our services section to learn more.


If you have any questions, please send us an email! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy browsing our website.


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