Happy 9th Birthday AYO!


Happy Birthday! It was 9 years ago that a group of community members came together at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House and started the movement that is AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities). You’re invited to join us at the bell tower and celebrate with us! There will be food, cake, activities and goodie bags! We will be sharing updates here on our blog, as well as on our Facebook event page! We will also be sharing an update of our current initiatives and some important dates for you to save.


We never imagined that one event could turn into all the work we do in leadership, health, systems/education, arts & culture, media, recreation and safety. Find below a little image of the initiatives that we have been involved in. We have not included everything and each item listed could and does have its own “web” just like this. Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, we are very excited to re-launch our website and announce other exciting events and initiatives that will empower Indigenous young people everywhere.


I Heart the North End: Notes & Next Steps

Notes from North End Community Conversation at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre March 01, 2019

Asking the community for feedback on how to move forward after the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre was vandalized on many different occasions.

Community concerns:

Many community centres in the neighbourhood are closing or struggling to stay open.

There are many services missing/needed in the community;

  1. Healthy baby, Healthy child
  2. Pow-wows/ pow wow programs and large gathering spaces
  3. Aboriginal Head Start
  4. Halloween and Christmas celebrations
  5. Bingo and craft programs
  6. Drop- in for youth
  7. Community computers
  8. Elders programs
  9. Kitchen space
  10. Support for men/cultural teachings
  11. Healing for men at NPDWC
  12. North End wide newsletter to create more communication between the community
  13. Residents coalition
  14. Harm reduction space
  15. Volunteer and employment opportunities
  16. settlement/ transition services for Indigenous people
  17. Food security/ healthy food sources
  18. Creating more green spaces, such as community gardens
  19. Leadership training and capacity building
  20. The community celebrating holidays together and work towards uniting community
  21. Intergenerational connections
  22. Create safe spaces
  23. Meeting people’s basic needs (food, shelter, safety etc.)
  24. Teach newcomers about the North End and create a welcoming environment
  25. The Indian and Metis Friendship Centre needs good board members with integrity

What is going well in the North End Community

  1. Neechi co-op is re-emerging says Russ, treasurer
  2. Bear Clan has opened space @ 586 Selkirk Ave
  3. New community space at David Livingstone is beginning fundraising with Alexa & other helpers
  4. Merchant’s Corner is new (541 Selkirk Ave)
  5. North Point Douglas Women’s Centre is doing well, and welcomes men too  
  6. The North End community is kind, caring and a friendly neighbourhood
  7. The Ukrainian Labour Temple is expanding
  8. Strong community groups building solidarity (Bell Tower)
  9. Lord Selkirk Park Family Centre is a great community resource
  10. North End Community Helpers Network (NECHN) provides opportunities
  11. Ma Wawi’s presence in the community is a big help/support
  12. Wider society wants to help and engage in Winnipeg
  13. CEDA Pathways
  14. Tina’s Safe Haven & Ndinawe’s 24 Hour services for youth
  15. Education over poverty, providing more opportunities for St John’s students
  16. Science and supper, drop-in providing food, sharing stories and growing knowledge
  17. COTE and NIJI Mahkwa providing Indigenous education
  18. Hands of Hope, providing furniture and other household items in the community. Training and education program
  19. North End Arts are thriving

Next Steps in the North End

  1. Work towards keeping staff in the community
  2. Positive media coverage about the North End (i.e. using social media)
  3. Creating a positive narrative with youth leading
  4. Work towards rebuilding the North End and collaborating better
  5. Create universal housing
  6. Create strategic planning to rebuild infrastructure (like supporting Neechi Commons and Friendship Centre)
  7. Create more community consultations/conversations
  8. North Ender’s need to work together and with allies
  9. Be more realistic on what is possible
  10.  Possible involvement with court in serious cases like the Friendship Centre
  11. Invite Business to community conversations
  12. Additional administrative and coordination needed

The group decided we would call ourselves I Heart North End and I hope that anyone reading this who also hearts the North End will join us on Friday March 15th from 6-8pm at the Merchant’s Corner (541 Selkirk Ave) to keep the momentum going. (You can also read the @northendmc version here) 

I the North End