Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Youth Sector


Akwe:go in Haudenosaunee means “All my Relations”. Akwe:go provides urban Indigenous children between the ages of seven and 12 with culturally appropriate support, in either one-on-one or group settings, and provides the tools and environment to build and foster their inherent ability to make healthy choices.

Programs and Services

Akwe:go is divided into five program and service areas:

1. Social Supports: provides a safe and supportive environment with access to circles, mentoring and counseling.

2. Children in Care: provides children and their adoptive/foster parents with outreach and access to cultural teachings, activities, and services.

3. Health and Physical Development: teaches

children the value of healthy eating habits and participating in regular exercise. Access to meals are provided through the lunch and dinner program following the Student Nutrition Program Guidelines

4. Educational Support: provides tutoring and educational support to help children stay in school and achieve their academic goals.

5. The First Fire Dance Program: offers technical dance training to youth between

the ages of seven and 18. This popular program consists of four different professional dance instructions: contemporary, break dancing, hip hop and

traditional hoop dancing. The program also offers a professional photoshoot in partnership with the Wasa-Nabin Program. The program caters to all components of the Medicine Wheel and helps foster healthy lifestyle choices and confidence in everyday life.

In addition, First Fire Dance teams follow our mission of working with people of the four colors as a significant number of our dancers come from the diverse Regent Park and Cabbagetown neighborhoods.

Festival of Trees (May 2018)

The Festival of Trees is Canada’s largest literary event for young readers. It is a two-day event where more than 10,000 youth attend. The festival is co-presented by the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) at the Harbourfront Centre. First Fire Dancers and the All Nations Juniors Drum Group had the pleasure of performing at the 2018 Festival of Trees.

Heydon Park Secondary School  (May 2018):

First Fire Dancers had the opportunity to teach a cultural workshop alongside the All Nations Juniors Drum Group at Heydon Park Secondary School. The workshop consisted of traditional stories, teachings around the drum and performances by the First Fire Dancers. The workshop also had an interactive component where students were offered lessons on how to hoop dance.

5th Annual First Fire Dance Showcase:

On May 1, 2018 we held our 5th annual First Fire Dance Showcase, which was the largest and most successful event yet. Each year we focus on storytelling through the choreography, this year we dedicated pieces on Restoration of Identity and Unity. The program included 23 dancers and had a new addition to youth teachers.

Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre:

The First Fire Dancers took part in the Youth Wellness Gathering at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre. The First Fire dancers had the opportunity to take part in the cultural workshops as well as perform and teach other students dance moves.

National Film Board of Canada:

Council Fire partnered with the National Film Board of Canada and OFIFC to create a short film showcasing the work Council Fire offers. The First Fire Dancers and the All Nations Juniors Drum Groups were showcased in the film. The drummers had the opportunity to record an original song and the dancers did a piece on Restoration of Identity in a professional studio.

The Citadel Christmas Showcase:

For the first time, the First Fire Dancers did a Christmas performance in partnership with The Citadel. The dancers got to showcase their progress on their dance pieces alongside other performances from The Citadel Dance Programs.

Total Akwe:go clients and participants

served: 2,122