Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation: Virtual Physical Health Challenge

In January 2021 the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) hosted our first ever ‘Virtual Physical Health Challenge’ over the span of six weeks. We opened up registration to all ACFN members and their families no matter their geographical location and invited them to participate in a virtual program that included five weekly challenges that were created to promote physical fitness and mindful eating and sleeping practices. We also hired three of our very own ACFN members who are professional fitness, yoga and kickboxing instructors to deliver three virtual classes weekly.

The participation and results were better than we could have imagined, our members were truly engaged in the initiative. A total of 482 Health Challenges were completed, 17 fitness classes were hosted with a total attendance of 259 participants over the series. We had families completing the challenge together, and using it not only to feel healthier but as family building. The reach was international, from almost every province in Canada as well as some participants in Hawaii and Australia!

Here are some direct quotes from our participants.
“I love the connection that I get from the fitness classes.”
“These six week challenges kept me going, I always looked forward to them; I hope that ACFN keeps them going because they are awesome.”
“I feel way better, stronger and happier, plus I am sleeping better!”
“More energy! More energy to clean, workout and get outside.”

Since we has such success we extended the fitness classes into March and have realized that there is no going back, we will continue to offer this programming; the members want it, they were the true stars of this initiative, they showed up and put in the work. We owe the success to them, we also owe it to out members to keep encouraging them with opportunities such as these.