MKO has several Youth programs such as: Relationship Building & Networking, MKO Youth Council, Suicide Prevention, MKO Partnership with R.D.Parker Collegiate, Sweet Grass H.O.M.E.S (Helping Our Mother Earth Survive) – Cultural Camp, Life Skills Coach, S.O.S Program (Stepping out on Saturday), MKO Youth Coordinator Committees and Community Engagements.
Relationship Building & Networking
The MKO Youth Program has been actively involved in creating partnerships within the Thompson region to serve First Nations Youth. The MKO Youth Program Coordinator is continuously working to bridge gaps and create networks that will assist in research development for First Nations communities and provide information where needed with an overall goal to motivate our youth in leadership and personal well being.
MKO Youth Council
The youth council needs the support of MKO leadership to continue representing, supporting, encouraging and communicating for MKO First Nations Youth to build upon a healthy and positive lifestyle. The goal of the MKO Youth Council are to ensure that the issues are being raised at the leadership level and that there is on going support from the communities. To ensure that the revitalization process continues, the Youth Program Coordinator along with MKO Executives must begin the next steps forward by recruiting new members. MKO Youth Council will sit on the council for one consecutive school year (September to June) and will meet once a month. The MKO Youth Council will volunteer at various community events in and around the Thompson area and assist with MKO events.
The MKO Youth Program Coordinator has worked on a community approach in suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention by joining the Hope North Forum Committee. The suicide prevention committee hosts the HOPE forum annually in Thompson. The HOPE Forum brings many leaders from all walks of life together to hear from inspirational speakers, engage in group activities and share stories with one another to create positivity and HOPE together as a united North.
MKO Partnership with R.D.Parker Collegiate
MKO Youth Program is also providing work experience opportunities through a program with R.D.Parker Collegiate High school in Thompson. Through this partnership, students can earn a credit through a culture learning experience or a volunteer base credit. Students will work with MKO Youth Program for 55-110 hours in learning about all MKO programs, their mandate and the advocacies that MKO support.
MKO Youth Program Coordinator also is in regular contact with the Youth Aboriginal Council (YAC) at R.D.Parker Collegiate, and is a support to any and all events.
Sweet Grass H.O.M.E.S (Helping Our Mother Earth Survive) – Cultural Camp
Sweet Grass Homes is a land based and cultural program to promote long term sustainability for our youth. The Youth Program Coordinator is working at getting this program started for the summer of 2019 and onward.
This program will be offered to youth in and around the Thompson area, and information on the program will be shared with all MKO First Nations Communities to be able to utilize this programs objective and receive guidance to get a Sweet Grass H.O.M.E.S program started in their community.
Life Skills Coach
MKO Youth Coordinator is a certified Life Skills Coach. Life skills is a way to prepare our young learners to deal effectively with personal issues by guiding them through self discovery and peer social interactions exercises. Life skills will assist youth in sorting out options and develop plans of actions to strengthen and empower them to live a healthy and more productive lifestyle. It is important to emphasize that all youth learn in their own way, and figure out, with the help from a life skills coach, what they need to lead a healthy life within their own capacities. Life skills is there for services such as counselling, guidance, empowerment and improvement. The MKO Youth Program Coordinator can provide services for one individual or a group.
S.O.S Program (Stepping out on Saturday)
The Stepping Out on Saturdays (S.O.S) half day camp is designed to offer children with developmental disabilities (ages 3-12yrs) a fun and safe day to learn and practice social skills, self- regulation, fine and large motor skills. Caregivers are provided with opportunities to learn caregiving strategies that are unique to the child as well as access to an informal support network. Trained staff and a low child to staff ratio are key to the child and program success. Participating support workers gain valuable knowledge and skills for working with children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. The camp will be offered to 18 participants, with one group in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Camp will run on one Saturday a month for three months, then another group will move in. Youth Program Coordinator will work with CFS Agencies to offer this program to their Children in Care (CIC’s).
MKO Youth Coordinator Committees and Community Engagements
- National Indigenous Day events, Soaring Eagle Awards
- Safer Choices Northern Network Committee Member (SCNN) – Harm Reduction
– Sexual Health Awareness Week
– HIV/AIDS Awareness Week
– Community Engagements – handing out safer sex kits
– World Hepatitis Day
- Hope North Committee Member– Suicide Prevention
– Hope North Annual Forum
- MKO Summer Student Program
- Manitoba Addiction Awareness Week Committee Member (MAAW)
- City of Thompson, Winterfest Committee Member
– MKO Youth 4 on 4 Road Hockey Tournament in partnership with Calm Air