The Turtle Lodge is a gathering place for the Indigenous peoples of Sagkeeng First Nation. The lodge is a beautiful complex with artwork, animals and messages of sacred beliefs.
We discussed that there was a spiritual meaning behind what we were trying to accomplish through the eyes of reconciliation. The elders passed messages and shared their stories to allow us to learn the meaning of their roles in our communities. We participated in a pipe and water ceremony to ensure we are doing this in a positive and traditional way. We then made a declaration of change and discussed through prayer, laughter and tears which showed how powerful young voice is in Canada. We gathered from all four directions of Canada to discuss change and action.
By: CHANTE SPEIDEL
Aboriginal Youth Opportunities
“A program doesn’t change someone, a person does.”
At turtle lodge we had to opportunity to work with a group of individuals called aboriginal youth opportunity or (AYO, www.ayomovement.com
). AYO is a group created by young people in Winnipeg to give aboriginal youth safe opportunities. It was originally created to be anti-gang however they realized they had to work with young people in gangs to help them. AYO works to give young people on the streets what they looked for in gangs; opportunity and a sense of belonging.
Jennalicious, one of the founders told us what they do to create helpful programming. She used he acronym ARROWS. It stands for Accessible, Resources, Relationships, Opportunity, Welcome and Support. Jenna highlighted the idea of relationships saying that “a program doesn’t change someone, a person does”.
Below is an interview with three members of AYO.
By: ANDREW BATYCKI