10 Years of FOXY


FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) is turning 10 in 2022! Since our inception in 2012, we’ve reached over 6,000 youth across the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon!

How We Got Here

March 2012 History of FOXY
First FOXY Workshop

FOXY held its first-ever school workshop at the Hay River Youth Centre. Six high school students focus-tested a brand new way of learning about sexual health and healthy relationships – through drama and the arts! Further focus testing workshops in Fort Smith and Yellowknife followed, and FOXY was born!

Feb 2005 Amazon History
First FOXY Retreat
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Aug 2007 Amazon History
Winning the Arctic Inspiration Prize
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01 Jan 2020 Sub Label
SMASH is Created
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Where are they now?

Anyone who has attended a FOXY or SMASH workshop or retreat knows the important roles our Peer Facilitators (or PFs) play in delivering our content. Simply put, we couldn’t do our jobs without them! 
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we caught up with some of our past PFs to find out how working for FOXY and SMASH affected their lives, and to see what they’re up to now!

"I always feel wanted and appreciated there."
Kendrick Bolt
Kugluktuk, Nunavut

SMASH allowed me to make new friends, taught me things I didn’t know, and taught me some things I need to know about living life. It also brought me happiness because of the people that are working there, they all became my family working time to time. I always feel wanted and appreciated there.

Recently, FOXY/SMASH gave me the chance to go to Vancouver to write and record an EP album of metal music. This summer I’ll be performing at Folk on the Rocks in Yellowknife. I wish Covid could go away so everything can go back to normal and I can start doing SMASH workshops again, but music is keeping me sane.

"Working at FOXY gave me the chance to meet new people and build my self-esteem."
Lex Banksland
Ulukhaktok, NWT

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"My experience with FOXY has shown me the importance of community and being open minded."
Treiva Plamondon
Hay River, NWT

I attended the first ever FOXY retreat in 2013 and became a Peer Facilitator is 2015. I graduated high school in 2017 and went on to complete the Personal Support Worker program in Yellowknife. Right out of college I started working for Home Care in Hay River. Although I loved working with elders in my community I had a calling to quit my job and travel across Australia. When the pandemic hit I had to cut my trip short and was forced to move back home to Canada. I started working again waiting for things to simmer down until it was safe enough for me to head out into the world to explore more. Once the borders opened I decided to travel Europe and luckily made it home in time before the next outbreak. I am currently working with FOXY/SMASH as a Facilitator and also started my own business as a Labour and Birth Doula.

If I were to describe FOXY in one word it would be empowering . My experience with FOXY has shown me the importance of community and being open minded. Even though FOXY’s main goal is sexual health I have learned so much more about life. I can’t help but thank them for the impact they had on my confidence and wellbeing. Thank you FOXY!

"I cherish the memories of the travels I did, the people I met and the lessons I learned"
Kiera BR
Hay River, NWT

Here’s to 10 years of FOXY! Since attending as a retreat participant in 2016 I went on to work as a Peer Facilitator my senior year of high school 2017. Though I did not work as a PF for long I cherish the memories of the travels I did, the people I met and the lessons I learned. In particular, I am so happy to have met and worked alongside Kleo Skavinski who is still to this day one of my favourite humans. After completing High School, I went on to study Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at the University of Alberta. Selecting my area of study was largely influenced by the experiences I had with FOXY that made me passionate about sexual/reproductive health, identifying and combating the patriarchy, mental health and unlearning and challenging the settler state. In 2021, I completed my bachelor’s degree and I’ve been working with all of the lovely staff at FOXY and SMASH since. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Candice Lys for starting this program.

"Without being surrounded by the influence of FOXY growing up I don’t think I’d be the woman I am today."
Athena Sharp
Fort Smith, NWT

Since I was young I’ve always thought about how important it is to me to be a powerful woman. FOXY brought that dream into reality. Since I’ve been 13 I’ve looked up to everyone in the organization as incredibly strong people. When I started working for FOXY at 15 I got to share these values with other peers, in doing so it has always brought me a strong feeling of accomplishment, something I strive to continue to share with youth and young adults. I can still remember how exciting my first retreat was and how many people I met along my FOXY journey that have shaped my life. Without being surrounded by the influence of FOXY growing up I don’t think I’d be the woman I am today. One of the most rewarding aspects of the program for me was learning how to be a leader; I ran my first public campaign last year in 2021 hoping to gain a seat in the local municipal election. Although I lost this term I will not give up my dream of being a part of public office, I believe it’s very important to share with young adults and youth. Without FOXY I would’ve never had the confidence as a young woman to even think of putting myself out there like that. I will forever treasure my years working with the organization.