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Westmount School
Inspiring Learning
Let's Lead – Nīkānētān





Let’s Lead – Nīkānētān is a full school year program for Grade 8 students who want to spend their year learning the curriculum through practical, hands-on, out-of-school experiences. It is for young people who are looking to develop their leadership skills, find their passion, spend time connecting to the land and experience a hands-on approach to education. All equipment, transportation and food costs, along with any other fees incurred, will be covered by the program for each student.

Students get an opportunity to learn with a holistic and community-based approach that teaches them independence, initiative and advocacy. 

The program is for students who enjoy experiencing:
  • First Nations, Métis and Michif cultural teachings and opportunities
  • Camping and connecting to the land
  • Improving leadership and teamwork skills
  • Learning the Grade 8 curriculum in a practical, hands-on format.
Mandy Cooper-Sarrazin and Evan Nienaber are the teachers of the program. They have more than 20 years of combined experience in teaching leadership and teamwork and working in an outdoor environment. They are supported by Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers and community facilitators who provide students with a well-rounded learning experience.


  • Build relationships with other students and staff.
  • Develop leadership and teamwork skills, and lead students in other schools in many activities.
  • Engage in experiential, hands-on, land-based learning with Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers.
  • Learn how to make choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.
  • Plan for the future with career education and activities that build self-confidence. 
  • Receive integrated, project-based learning assessments that use criteria other than marks.
  • Have fun!​

Application Camp Information Session

A Let's Lead – Nīkānētān application camp information session will take place on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Westmount Community School in the gymnasium. If your child is interested in applying for Let's Lead or has already applied and would like more information on the upcoming application camp, you are welcome to attend this information session.​


To apply online, click here. A paper application, including more detailed information about the program, can be found he​re​​.

The application deadline is Friday, May 3, 2024, at 4 p.m.

Please note that of the students who apply, approximately 70 to 80 will be chosen to participate in an application camp at Pike Lake. Students who meet the selection criteria will have their names entered into a lottery and 28 individuals will be chosen to participate in the program.

Selection criteria includes: 
  • Able to get along with others.
  • Makes responsible, safe, independent choices.
  • Contributes to the group.
  • Shows a willingness to learn and take correction from others.
  • Able to meet the physical demands of camp.
  • Perseveres to the end.
  • Listens and respects both peers and teachers.
  • Shows self-control.
  • Demonstrates a kind, caring and accepting attitude toward others.


​For questions, please contact teachers Man​dy Cooper-Sarrazin at [email protected] or Evan Nienaber at [email protected].​

Let's Lead Q&A