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Canada’s diverse cultures celebrated through north-south exchange program: basketball teams share culture, athletic skills and community service
Under the auspices of the YMCA Youth Exchanges Program, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School’s girls’ basketball team is participating in an exchange with the girls basketball team from Ehtseo Ayha School, Deline, Northwest Territories . 
The girls from Deline are of the Sahtugotine people from the Dene Nation.  Located on the shores of Great Bear Lake, Deline is home to about 500 people.
The team from Deline arrived on January 28th and spent the evening with their host families. They will be in Toronto until February 3rd. 
The objectives of the exchange are many.  Along with the nurturing of leadership skills, social development and self-confidence, the exchange will provide the opportunity for Toronto students to experience the Dene First Nation culture in northern Canada.  For the girls from Deline they will have the opportunity to experience urban culture in a large city setting. The girls from Lourdes will go to Deline, NWT in April. 
While here, the visitors will also participate in a community service project, which will allow the girls from Deline to work with younger students to promote a healthy lifestyle through physical activities, and will take a leadership role in a collection of canned food and donations which will be delivered to the local food bank on January 30th.
 “The energy they have brought to this community is electric!” says principal Jo Nazar.  “We are grateful to the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program for this amazing opportunity, and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, KidsUpFront, Ryerson University, and many other friends of Our Lady of Lourdes for their support and generosity.”