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FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) & SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health)

FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) and SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health) is are revolutionary ways of working with Indigenous and Northern youth to promote mental and sexual health and healthy relationships. Facilitators strive to pass on practical tools designed to aid youth in making decisions that are right for them, even in the most difficult situations.

FOXY/SMASH use traditional beading, theatre, digital storytelling, Inuit/Dene games, traditional drumming, photography, and music to help youth express their knowledge, opinions, and questions in a supportive and creative environment. With a strong focus on sexual health and empowered decision-making, participants across the North get to understand their own cues and build knowledge through engaging, arts based activities.

Since January 2012, FOXY has reached over 2500 female-identifying youth in more than 35 NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon communities through over 200 workshops and 8 Peer Leader Retreats that have brought together over 200 Northern and Indigenous young FOXY Peer Leaders. Since it's inception in May 2016, SMASH has reached an additional 1000 male-identifying youth through our school programming and two Peer Leader Retreats.

FOXY’s mission is to use the arts to enhance the education, health, and well-being of Northern and Indigenous youth. FOXY’s vision for the coming five years is to be trauma informed in content and practice. We strive to provide quality sexual health education for youth of all genders, sexualities, and cultures in Northern rural and remote communities that is grounded in wholistic approaches, evidence-based practices, and reciprocal and experiential ways of learning across generations. FOXY intends to accomplish its’ vision through five goals:

1. Integrated, wholistic sexual and mental health programming.
2. Expanded and accessible programming inclusive of gender, sexuality, culture, and rural/remote location.
3. High quality, comprehensive research plan as evidence for programming, long-term/core funding, and organizational sustainability.
4. Rooted and functional organizational systems.
5. Trauma informed content and approaches.

  • Status:
    Non-profit, Program 
  • Main Communities Served:
    FNMI, Youth 
  • Main Catchment Area:
    Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon 
  • Languages:
  • Arts Focus:
    Process over product 
  • Main Community-Engaged Arts / Arts for Social Change Activities:
    Producing digital stories and other art about the social determinants of health, on the land arts-based Peer Leader Retreats 
  • Mandate/Mission:
    FOXY/SMASH use the arts to enhance the education, health, and well-being of Northern and Indigenous youth 
  • Main Contact Name:
    Candice Lys, Co-Founder/Executive Director 
  • Phone:
  • Main Contact Email: 
  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • Address:
    240 Borden Drive
    Yellowknife, NT  X1A 3R4 

Last updated on 2018-01-25 13:06:55. Submitted by: FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) & SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health