MKO has several Youth programs such as: Relationship Building and Networking, The MKO Youth Council, Suicide Prevention Program, CEPS Youth Leadership Project – (Cultural, Economic, Political, Social), Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Camp, International Youth Fellowship World Camp and MKO Partnership with R.D. Parker High School for the SIP Credit.
Relationship Building and Networking
The MKO youth program has been actively involved in creating partnerships within the Thompson community serving First Nations youth. The MKO youth advisor is working closer to bridge the gaps and create networks that will assist in research development for First Nations communities and provide information where needed with the overall goal to motivate leadership in indigenous youth. This includes representation of the Northern Regional Health Authority sub-committee Mission Possible, RDPC’s Aboriginal awareness week with YouthAboriginal Council, Safer Choices Northern Network and 595 Prevention, National Aboriginal Day Ad-hoc Committee, Thompson Neighborhood Renewal Corporation Board of Directors and Boys and Girls Club Directors.
The MKO Youth Council
The youth Council needs the support of MKO leadership to continue representing, supporting, encouraging and communicating for MKO First Nation 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 ongoing support fro the communities. To ensure the revitalization process continues, the executive council must begin the next steps forward by recruiting of new members.
The MKO youth program has worked on a community approach in suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention by joining the Northern Regional Health Authority-Suicide prevention committee. The Suicide prevention committee hosts the HOPE forum annually. 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.
CEPS Youth Leadership Project -(Cultural, Economic, Political, Social)
Plans are now in place to have students who have successfully completed the program to begin training to deliver the program in their respective communities with the assistance where available from First Nations communities. The Youth Program has compiled a package ready to be sent to all 30 First Nations communities upon request, to deliver the CEPS program. CEPS Youth Leadership Program is a successful program designed to help youth gain knowledge and skills in the areas of culture, economics,politics and social development. It is also a motivational program which inspires youth to further pursue goals in education and employment. Recently, MKO partnered with Brandon University VOICE Research Project. The project provided funding to help the youth program determine the factors that contribute to youth achieving success upon completion of the program. The objectives we set out to achieve were to: Revitalize and Re-connect to culture; united approaches to self-determination, Youth Leadership Development opportunities; and capacity building in the 4 areas ( social, economic, political and cultural). All work material is facilitated by youth facilitators using the CEPS work booklets; along with presenters/teachers from various organizations to facilitate workshops with expertise advice related to the objectives. To date the MKO Youth Program have successfully trained over 60 youth in CEPS Youth Leadership Development.
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Camp
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak delivered its 14th annual ABoriginal Cultural Awareness Summer Camp Using the traditional knowledge of the northern Cree peoples in the City of Thompson, Manitoba. This project will enhance the cultural identity of the urban Indigenous youth ages 10-17 with land-based workshops; the opportunity for re-vitalization and re-connection to culture; education of the First Nation histories and cultural awareness and creativity through art. This project received in-kind resources from various organizations with the City of Thompson. This included Traditional Elders/ Teachers & partnerships with; Ma-Maw-We-Tak Friendship Centre, Keewatin tribal Council, Addiction Foundation of Manitoba, Manitoba Metis Federation, Awasis Agency, Youth at Risk North, and McDonald Youth Services. Preferences were given to youth who are considered at risk as they were in dire need of cultural revitalization and spiritual growth. The youth advisor also participated in various workshops as well as other traditional and cultural activities in the fall/winter of 2014.
International Youth Fellowship World Camp
The MKO Youth Advisor assists Manitoba First Nations Youth in the coordination with International Youth Fellowship World Camp; this was the 4th year MKO has assisted more than 110 youth from accross Manitoba with the IYF world camp. Over 50 First Nations youth attended the International Youth Fellowship World Camp held i Manhattan, New York August 22-30 2014IYF World Camp helps young people transcend their limitations so the can establish strong spiritual roots and set a solid foundation for leadership. With dynamic Christian-based programming that enhances spiritual and mental growth, expands global awareness, promotes intercultural tolerance, and develops leaderships skills. The IYF world camp aims to guide young people as they transition from collegiate settings to the real world, where their choices have greater potential to ignite change and positivity affect those around them.