Youth Engagement Project is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (www.otf.ca ). The grant was approved in October 2011 with a Youth Engagement Coordinator position finally secured in August 2012. The goals of the project are to:
1. Increase youth engagement and staff leadership with professional support
2. Increase engagement with youth leaders in communities.
3. Improve networking by youth within the Mushkegowuk Region.
4. Increase knowledge, skills and competency for community youth leadership.
5. Increase competency for youth to participate in community planning.
Due to the gap of time between the initial implementation of the project and the hiring of the Youth Engagement Coordinator there has been a lull within the Mushkegowuk Council’s Youth Department. At the present time the Youth Engagement Coordinator has been in this position for six months. Since she was hired there have been several presentations made within communities to enhance the knowledge for youth about the current socio-economic status of many of our First Nations.
The history of colonization and assimilation have had detrimental impacts to our people in a short amount of time, this is the challenging reality of our First Nations across the country. By developing a comprehensive understanding of the “history before the history” (pre-contact), traumatic history of colonization, its multigenerational impacts will help empower our youth and community members. Education is empowerment. By learning and understanding the history we can all work towards a positive, sustainable future for all our people in the Mushkegowuk territory.
By empowering our youth with knowledge and strengthening their Cree identity; it can help them make effective choices and decisions for themselves and within our communities.
“In order to move forward, we have to understand where we came from.”
There was also a Regional Youth Conference in Moose Factory during the month of February 2013. There were information sessions regarding the history, colonization, the oral treaty, our identity as First Nation people, leadership, creating youth councils plus cultural events/activities.
In the future there will be community visits and presentations for youth. If you have suggestions please feel free to contact the Coordinator. Meegwetch.
If you have any questions please call 705-658-2412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Engagement Coordinator