In this section:

Aries Program

Aries is an alternative educational day program for Indigenous youth ages 13-15 years old whose educational needs are not being met in mainstream schools/systems. We help students to build positive support networks and reach their full educational potential through a respectful, safe, and culturally relevant environment that respects each student as an individual. 

Aries has one teacher, a coordinator, and two youth workers who help students in their academic and/or employment goals and activities.

Program Activities

  • ClassStudents attend our school at Hastings & Commercial five days per week
  • Staff work with each student to create an Individual Education Plan to upgrade their education
  • A nutritious lunch is provided
  • Recreational and social programs and outings
  • Core subjects up to Grade 10 and beyond are offered to increase students' reading, writing, and math, as well as to help them further their educational opportunities
  • Lifeskills development and learning about health information
  • One-to-one tutoring 
  • Referrals to other resources to meet student’s individual needs

Aries also meets spiritual and cultural needs through arts and crafts, Indigenous cultural enrichment, and frequent field trips and nature walks. Life skills, health information and other knowledge are provided in workshops, and every student is treated as a whole individual with mental, spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Referrals to alcohol and drug counselling and other support are also provided. 

How to get involved

16 of our 20 spaces are designated for youth who have an open file with the BC Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD). The remaining 4 spaces are open to applications from youth who do not have an open file with MCFD.

Entry is through referral by Social Workers or Probation Officers to the Day Program Screening Committee. Upon intake, youth and staff together determine an appropriate learning program tailored to meet their individual needs.

Interested?  Indigenous youth ages 13-15 years old can call for more information and/or an appointment at 604-255-1326 or ask your MCFD worker to help in applying.


Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome volunteers to help with workshops, arts & crafts, and tutoring our students.  Please call to see if these are the right volunteer opportunities for you.


Donations Needed

We appreciate donations of Indigenous arts and craft supplies, bus tickets, and gently used educational books for grade levels 8-12.  

Depending on the type, size and value of the donation, UNYA may be able to provide a tax receipt. Please call the Program Manager at 604-254-7732 to discuss your possible donation.

Program Funders

BC Ministry of Children & Family Development and the Vancouver School Board

Aries Program Brochure (pdf)

Contact us today

Mailing Address:
1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1S6
Phone: (604) 255-1326
Fax: (604) 254-7811

Training the Leaders of Tomorrow

1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 1S6 Call: (604) 254-7732 Email: