NU alumni welcome newcomers to Saskatoon

Rebecca Zakreski is the Volunteer Connections coordinator at Saskatoon Open Door Society, helping newcomers find volunteer placements. 

Rebecca and her co-lead on the project, Stephanie Shyluk, are both alumni of Next Up Saskatoon in 2016-17 and 2010-11 respectively. Their work was recently featured by the Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) in a guest blog post

There are hundreds of organizations in Saskatoon that benefit from the hard work of volunteers, and each day newcomers come through Open Door Society looking to see how they can be of help to others. For more information about volunteering, please contact


UP Next Up's accessibility!

Suddenly it’s almost December and we have so many projects on the go: multi-month programs running in Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary; evening workshops in Saskatoon focused on Social Media, Building Indigenous-Settler Alliances, and Public Speaking; and plans to launch new workshops in Regina, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto in the new year.

We are doing our best to make NU more available to more people, planning our first workshops in some rural areas of Saskatchewan and keeping the newest programs going like Next Up Winnipeg, which is just starting its 4th year, and BC Indigenous Youth in Action, which will be in its 3rd year in 2018. Expanding our programs means that we need to expand our accessibility and raise funds for participants who need subsidies for travel from rural areas to program cities or for childcare during sessions or for language interpretation throughout a program or for other accessibility supports.

You can help make this all happen by donating to Next Up through our site on CanadaHelps and you'll not only receive our heartfelt thanks, but a tax receipt too. 

Here's how your donation can make a difference:

Consider becoming a monthly donor:

$10 monthly donation supports one participant in a 3-day intensive program

$20 monthly donation contributes to one participant who requests additional support for childcare, travel, interpretation services, etc.

$40 monthly donation pays for the lunch costs for a 3-day long program

$50 monthly donation pays for the venue costs for a 3-day long program

$70 monthly donation pays for one hour of ASL/language interpretation per month

Or if you choose to give a one-time donation

$200 pays for three hours of ASL/language interpretation for a workshop

$150 contributes to a childcare subsidy for a participant in a 3-day long program

$100 contributes to travel costs for a participant to get from their home community to a program city

$85 pays for one participant’s registration fee to a 3-day intensive program

$75 provides an honorarium for a guest speaker who shares their knowledge with the group

$50 contributes to a childcare subsidy for a participant in a workshop

$20 buys a flipchart pad, markers, and other miscellaneous workshop supplies


We can't thank you enough for your support. Every dollar counts!

Donate today!

2 reactions Share

Up Next - Climate Leadership Program 2018


 The Climate Leadership Program (CLP) completed a very successful pilot in 2016. This spring we’re going to be running the program again. It’s open to all people living in Alberta who are 25 and older (no upper age cut off) who work, volunteer and organize outside of the traditional areas of climate change action. Applications will open in January, with the program beginning in March. It will take place over 5 weekends, held in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Kananaskis. Keep an eye on our applications page for the call-out. Meanwhile, you're welcome to contact Mike Byerley, NU Calgary and CLP Coordinator, with your questions and requests.


Add your reaction Share

Next Up Winnipeg is back in action with cohort 4!

During our orientation in October, we asked participants to share what they're excited to learn and share in their Next Up year. Here's what a few of them had to say.


"When I first heard of the Next Up program, immediately I knew it was something I was very interested in. Working in the social services field I have been witness to many of the injustices that many marginalized people face on a regular basis. Reading more into the Next Up program, I knew this was a perfect beginning point for me to engage in actively making changes within the system. I am excited to meet likeminded people, build my network, and begin learning about how to make effective changes in a very broken system. I am looking forward to starting this journey and am grateful for this opportunity!" Samantha Harris


"I have always had a dream of fighting injustice in my society. Being a black woman, I have seen my people deprived of so many opportunities. I wanted to be a fighter but I did not have the weapons to fight; which is why I joined Next Up. I joined this leadership program so I could sharpen my skills and develop the necessary skills needed to fight for my people. I believe that this is the start of something new for me and that this program would help me to better make a change in the society." Anjolaoluwa Obafisoye


"When I read the words 'progressive leadership' I knew Next Up was something I had to be a part of. I am so excited to be a part of a group of likeminded individuals looking to effect change in areas of social justice and environmentalism. Through Next Up, I hope to make lasting connections with fellow progressive change makers in my community. My activism centers around LGBTQIA issues and intersectional feminism and I want to learn how to inspire and motivate people to rally around a movement or cause, skills I look forward to learning through Next Up." Juliana Perez



Add your reaction Share

Introducing Next Up Calgary 8!


Calgary’s program started with Orientation over October 14, 15 and 17th with our 8th Cohort. This year there are 14 participants. We’ve made a few changes to the structure of the program in response to evaluation and guidance from the Calgary Advisory Network. This year we’re wrapping up in April. We’ve also moved away from our monthly Saturday sessions in favour of 4 full weekend sessions. We’re looking forward to some deeper immersive learning spaces over those two days. In other changes, we’re now meeting for Tuesdays at the Offices of the Alberta EcoTrust Foundation, who also happens to be a funder for some of Next Up’s Alberta programs. CommunityWise is still our location for weekend sessions, and our annual Community Connection. There’s no way we’d ever want to have a potluck anywhere else.


This year’s cohort has a wide range of interests and experiences and has already demonstrated a keen interest in participatory learning, and a willingness to tackle difficult conversations around justice and privilege. Our Advisory Network has reconvened to help make ongoing evaluation more transparent, accessible and accountable to all. They’re also helping out with fundraising plans, and in the redevelopment of some of the sessions. This year will see the return of our peer mentoring program, which has been capably organized by Jolene and Amy for quite a few years. This year, we’re looking for one or two folks to take over it’s coordination. All Calgary grads, supporters and donors are invited to be a part of the Advisory Network’s ongoing program support. Contact the Coordinator if this interests you.


Finally, a number of the cohort will be travelling to the far northern realm of Edmonton, where we’ll be volunteering (and socializing with our NU Edmonton pals) at the Parkland Fall Conference. We’re kind of excited with the conference title (Collapse: Neoliberalism in crisis), and are glad that this day has arrived, seriously, the speaker line up is great! We hope to see many friends over that weekend.


Stay tuned to our next Next Update - we’ll be reaching out for community support to organize and run Community Connection 6.


All the best to everyone for the fall and approaching winter.


Mike Byerley

Next Up Calgary & Climate Leadership Program Coordinator.

Add your reaction Share

Welcome Next Up Edmonton 9!

We are very pleased to welcome the 14 amazing young people who make up our new cohort, Next Up Edmonton 9!


The new cohort has a wide variety of experiences. Some people are working on climate change and creating a just energy transition, others are organizing around police accountability. Some people work in public health and some people work in schools. Some spend their days writing policy, others organize protests. Some use the arts to create change, others focus on research and hard facts. Some concentrate on local issues and others have done work internationally. Everyone in the cohort is creating progressive change.


We began our year with three days of Orientation. Everyone was very excited to meet each other and get to know one another. We were also joined by some alumni who helped facilitate the weekend - big thanks to Claire Edwards (NUE6), Damien Lechat and Taylor Rubin (NUE7), and Jamie Zarn (NUE8) for joining us!


The cohort spent the weekend talking about ideas of leadership, how we work in groups, and where our comfort zones are. We learned some theories on how change happens and some tools to help us make it happen. We looked at the different roles we all play in social movements and talked about the ways our work supports each other. We shared our stories, talking about where we come from and why we do the work that we do. We also shared a delicious potluck lunch!


It was a powerful weekend that laid a solid foundation for the cohort to learn and grow together over the next seven months. 


Add your reaction Share

In collaboration with Coalition des Femmes de l'Alberta


We are excited to announce that we are collaborating with Coalition des Femmes de l’Alberta to launch a leadership program for young Francophone and Francophile women committed to social and environmental justice. 


 Application deadline is November 10, 2017. Please email for more details and to apply.



Neeched Up Games - making their pitch Nov. 5, 2017

 Janelle_Pewapsconias_edit.pngJanelle Pewapsconias (2014 alum and 2015 facilitator of NU First Nations & Metis Youth in Action intensive program) and Neeched Up Games will be featured as one of Top Nine Pitchers at the Wilson Centre Pitch Party on November 5th. They'll be pitching their business idea to hundreds of people at "Saskatchewan's largest celebration of Entrepreneurship." Neeched Up Games is a social enterprise that provides board games, card games, apps, and educational resources to empower people and engage people with indigenous knowledge, history, and culture.

 You can buy tickets to the event at this link. And if you want to learn more about Neeched Up Games, games for the resilient, you can watch a short video of Janelle pitching the game here.









Social Change Mentorship & Support Program - NU Sask

Do you have a great idea but aren't sure where to go with it?

Next Up, The Stand Community Organizing Centre, and Strong Roots Consulting are offering personalized coaching and support to individuals or organizations working toward social, environmental or economic justice. If you're needing a sounding board, insight, ideas or advice on strategic planning, evaluation, workshop design, social media, or anything else that will move your ideas to action, we may be able to help.

Contact to start the conversation.


 strong_roots_logo.edited.png The_Stand_logo_edited.png 


Volunteer in Saskatoon

SK_open_door_society_logo.pngOn October 18th our friends at Saskatoon Open Door Society [SODS] are holding their biannual Volunteer Fair, where organizations from across the city will be offering exciting volunteer opportunities, ranging from informal drop-in volunteering to longterm committed volunteering.

Next Up will be there too and we'll be hosting a board membership nook, with a collection of current and upcoming vacancies on local organizations' boards for you to consider joining. If your own organization is recruiting board members and you’d like to be included in our collection of boards seeking members, please fill out this brief survey for us. For more info about SODS, check out their website

Admission is free and no need to sign up in advance. If you're a Next Up alumni and want to help us out that day, please contact Tracey Mitchell by email: 

See you at the Fair!

When: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Where: Saskatoon Police Service, Gymnasium, 76-25th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3P9 

What time: 12:30pm - 3:30pm