Last week Grade 10 students from Arcola School attended the Soaring Conference in Edmonton, which focused on youth empowerment through an Indigenous lens.

"It's to encourage our Indigenous youth to finish their education, and then all of the opportunities that they have available to them," said the students' teacher Jacquie Walbaum, who teaches Grade 7-12 at Arcola School. "Basically financial options and courses, and just to get them excited about their future.

Walbaum said many of the students gained new interests from the experience.

"It just helped them become more confident," she said. "I heard a lot of students say 'wow this is like one of the best trips I've had.' I've heard students who have all of a sudden said 'oh I'm actually really interested in engineering or I'm interested in the arts, or I'm interested in nursing now.'"

Walbaum said the conference also offered practical tools like building a resume and how to do a good job interview.

The conference was also offered to non-Indigenous students as well with Grade 9-12 students attending from all across Canada. The only other Saskatchewan group was from Ochapowace Nation.

The Arcola students took a charter bus to the event. Their trip was fully funded by Indspire.

Walbaum said she would love to take her students to the conference again in the future.

Next year's conference will be held in Ottawa.