An International Event to Rediscover Indigenous Knowledge Relevant in the 21st Century

Participating First Nation Communities in Canada and NGOs in India will identify groups of youth between 18-24 years of age in rural and remote communities.

First each team will identify a specific problem they want to solve or an improvement they want to make within their community or village that is related to:

a. The Environment; or
b. Physical Health and Well Being; or
c. Mental Health and Well Being; or
d. Sustainable development

Next, they will learn about a local ‘pre-contact’ cultural practice, tradition or process that got lost but could potentially be adapted to address the challenge identified.

Finally, each team will submit their idea of how the forgotten tradition or practice can be applied to solve the problem or make the improvement in their community or village.

Submissions in writing, music, art or even a video of dance or drama will clearly formulate a recommendation of the direct use / modified practice to solve a current challenge in their village. LAUF will support participating teams with skills in creative problem solving. An International Panel will evaluate entries.

The 'Smart' in Smart Villages

LAUF’s endeavour is to empower disadvantaged youth and their communities to enable them to become ‘Smart Villages’. We refer to a Smart community where everyone gets an opportunity to discover their potential and manifest it. Smart communities are able to create new knowledge by combining indigenous knowledge with other knowledge to address their challenges. Learning and sharing is at the core of ‘prosperity for all’.

Building Self- Esteem and adapting indigenous knowledge to solve contemporary problems

This program seeks to rebuild self-esteem among youth by helping them:

a. identify and take ownership of change initiatives in their community;
b. rediscover strengths in traditional practices of their communities;
c. gain skills and confidence to learn, evaluate and adapt traditional practices to
address current community challenges.

In some cases, rediscovered indigenous knowledge and traditional practices may benefit many
more entities in designing processes, products or policy making.

Youth Energy Can Help Reverse Losses of Ethnocide

Many communities all over the world have experienced a degree of change precipitated and driven by ‘external or forced contact’ distinct from self-initiated voluntary contact. ‘Forced Contact’ was often through invasion or multi-generational dominance by external players that resulted in violent conversion to systems and practices alien to the non-consenting host. Invariably, pre-contact societies were changed- not of their own volition. Many of these societies over generations, focused on regaining political self-governance. Even when these efforts were successful, maintaining, nourishing and adapting of cultural practices was a low priority.

Sustainable empowerment requires proactive affirmations that remove barriers to developing self-esteem. An important component of this process is recognizing endogenous strengths. This event will help rural youth to reflect, discover and adapt with pride. LAUF believes that youth energy can help reverse losses of ethnocide which, as defined by the American Bar Association is, “the destruction of culture while keeping the people”.

This program from LAUF, will help youth in these communities to discover cultural practices before their communities experienced ‘contact’ to craft a contemporary response to specific local challenges.

Participating Communities and NGOs in Canada and India

Each participating community or NGO will be provided a separate presence on this event site to share and invite local supporters to work with them.

Relevant outreach resources to reach youth (18-24 years) will be provided by LAUF.

All team entries from participating communities and villages will be submitted through the participating community or NGO.

Corporate and Individual Supporters in Canada and India

All contributions to the participating communities and NGOs will be acknowledged on this event site.

Registered Grass Roots NGO’s in India interested in the Smart Village initiative
First Nations and Remote Communities In Canada

First Nations, Communities and NGOs interested in participating email us at