Housing Solutions for Indigenous Youth Aging Out of Care in Winnipeg

“Housing Solutions for Indigenous Youth Aging Out of Care in Winnipeg” has been announced as one of twelve projects being funded from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation as part of the National Housing Strategy.

This is a one year project, with HTFC Planning & Design as the main proponent, recieving $122,666 from CMHC to do this solutions lab featuring partnerships with Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO), HTFC Planning & Design; Ready to Shift and Scale (RSS); Nigaanii Wabiski Mikanak Ogichidaa (NWMO) so far!! We are also grateful to have suppport from the University of Manitoba, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences throughout this initiative. AYO hosted a Meet Me at the Bell Tower Gathering last week on this topic and also hosted the first of their leadership lab team gatherings to kick off the project. Future gatherings and identifying additional partners will happen throughout the duration of the project.

“I am beyond excited to be a part in project because I know first hand how inconsistent and challenging navigating the systems are before and after you even ahead out. I am vet happy the project uses Indigenous youth voices, like mine, that know from experience what’s not working, and what is.” – Kakeka ThunderSky

More about our project “Housing Solutions for Indigenous Youth Aging Out of Care in Winnipeg”:

Our Solutions Lab will address the issues of housing insecurity and homelessness that Indigenous youth in care in Winnipeg face when they age out of the child welfare system at age 18.

Our project leverages the processes and methodologies of Solutions Labs to collaboratively explore the specific needs of Indigenous youth in Winnipeg who have grown up in the care of Manitoba’s child welfare system and who are at the point where their institutional supports are removed.

Many child welfare advocates and organizations have identified this pivotal point in the experience of a youth in care, a point at which they face a high probability of entering into a cycle of poverty and housing insecurity or homelessness.

We will approach this issue from different perspectives and worldviews, including those of people who:

  • are or were in the system (young people who have aged out or are aging out of care);
  • are working in the system (caregivers, child welfare caseworkers or administrators, policymakers, etc.); or
  • are “around” the system (as advocates or community organizers, or those who work for organizations involved with housing, including the CMHC).

In doing so, we aim to build bridges of empathy and provide advocates and policymakers with a more complete picture of the issue.

Our hope is that the solutions that are co-developed in this process will be taken up by decision makers to close the gaps and further reduce the number of young people facing homelessness year over year.

Anyone wanting to get involved in, support the development of or speak to someone about this initiative please see details below:

Zoe Mager, HTFC
Email: zmager@htfc.mb.ca

Kakeka ThunderSky, Nigaanii Wabiski Mikanak Ogichidaa
Email: 2braidz@ayomovement.com

Michael Redhead Champagne, AYO
Email: mc@ayomovement.com

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Opportunities – March 2018

Do you want to get involved with the AYO team in Winnipeg? Take out your calendar and circle these dates!

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Inner City Voices (radio show): bi-weekly, hour long radio program featuring a panel of real people sharing real stories, discussing real topics and celebrating real music. Listen to old episodes of the show by clocking  HERE.
Monday March 12, 5-6pm on CKUW 95.9fm
Monday March 26, 5-6pm on CKUW 95.9fm

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Speak Cree? (free community language nest): this weekly community space invites Cree/Inninew speakers of all dialects, ages and experience levels to learn and share the language!
Tuesdays: March 6March 13, March 20 & March 27 @ 6:30pm
@ Ralph Brown Community Centre – 460 Andrews St

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Fearless R2W (Child welfare education & advocacy group): We meet weekly and invite parents and community helpers to come build their networks and system literacy.
Wednesdays @ 6:00pm @ Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre
March 7 – Learning Circle with Winnipeg Boldness Project
March 14 – Advocacy & Crafts
March 21 – Topic To Be Determined….
March 28 – Sharing Circle

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Meet Me at the Bell Tower (anti-violence, community building gathering): weekly event for families and youth to encourage healthy living. We also connect members of the community with relevant supports in creative ways.
Fridays @ 6:00pm @ 470 Selkirk – Indigenous Family Centre
March 9 – Restoring Justice
March 16 – Food As Resistance
March 23 / March 30 – Topics To Be Determined….

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AYO Politix (system literacy, self directed learning for Indigenous youth): We meet in local businesses to brain storm topics and plan solutions and actions to support our community and AYO initiatives.
Mental Wellness Brain Storm, Saturday March 17 @ 12:00pm
Newcastle Restaurant – 1010 Main Street 

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Midnight Medicine Walk (cultural walk for those being sexually exploited on the streets): In response to the recent verdicts relating to Tina Fontaine and injustices across the country we will be meeting at
March 19 @ 11:45pm on Alexander & Waterfront

March 17,2010-2018

AYO To Celebrate 8th Birthday: Nothing has been planned yet, but keep your eyes posted to the page or surprise AYO team members with birthday gifts all month!

 

7 Ways to Get Involved With AYO! This Summer!

As the weather heats up, so do activities within the AYO! Movement! This summer we will be hosting  these 7 opportunities (there may be more) and will be debuting our first ever AYO Staff position for one lucky summer student!! Find below some upcoming upcoming opportunities for Indigenous youth:

AYO Politix & #PDvotes17 (Saturdays)

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There is a provincial by election to replace MLA Kevin Chief in Point Douglas on June 13th 2017! That means AYO Politix (#politixBS) is meeting with individual candidates, recording Speed Rounds and working with other community groups to have an All Candidates Forum! Stay tuned to the AYO Politix Facebook Page to learn more!  We will be asking the candidates to speak on local economic development, child welfare (See Fearless R2W) and Health (See our TOP 5 Health Policy list). Our festivities began on Sat May 20th, with Green Party’s Sabrina Koehn Binesi! Upcoming Brain Storm dates are below:

Meet Me at the Bell Tower (Fridays)

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The MM@BT movement continues to meet Fridays at 6pm in cooperation with the Indigenous Family Centre and Food Not Bombs (and of course our relatives the Bear Clan gather at 6pm on the same corner). We look forward to welcoming consultations related to The Merchant’s Corner, a bell tower baby first birthday and a chance to explore both mental and community health!

Fearless R2W (Thursdays & 1 Saturday)

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Fearless R2W is moving forward, we are about to release our re-vamped Community and Government Recommendations on our blog! We continue to meet Thursdays at Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre at 510 King Street and are beginning the process for our first ever COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT FORUM. We will also be supporting the AYO Politix Candidate’s Forum and asking questions on child welfare.

Inner City Voices (Mondays)

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Every Monday for the past 5 years, @northendmc has been hanging out on the CKUW airwaves with many of the other rowdies from AYO & the Village including Jenna Liiciious, Markus, Chris, Ninoondawah and many more! MC & Liiciious recently had a blast hosting the 11th Annual Volunteer Awards & Listener Appreciation Party for the CKUW family! We promote local musicians, especially hip hop, and are always looking for interesting and exciting ways to collaborate with inner city residents and groups as well as other shows on CKUW like Rogues Primate.

The Village Walk (Mondays)

village walk 2017 returns

Back by popular demand and now in it’s 3rd year, it’s the Village Walk! Brought to you by SpiritFusion, AYO!, Ma Mawi Chi Itata, Got Bannock? & more – The Village Walk provides a chance each lunch hour, on Mondays, to start your week with a walk around the community where we can explore the neighbourhood and get healthy together.

Youth Pipe Ceremonies (Saturdays)

 

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We’re back for the 2nd year of weekly, summertime, street level youth led ceremony! We’ve already hosted 2 events at the North End Bell Tower and the Merchant’s Hotel. We are looking forward to supporting other events in the community where ceremony, and the streets can come together, in spaces where we can pray for families and express gratitude for the good things we have in our lives.

100 Basketballs (Family Fun Day in August)

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For the past 3 years, #100Basketballs has provided inner city children and youth with free basketballs and a family fun day that featured basketball related give aways, food, entertainment, 3 on 3 basketball tournaments and more! This year, 100 Basketballs will happen in August and for the first time will be in the West End of Winnipeg. More details will be available soon!

  • If you wish to partner, support, donate equipment, shoes, basketballs or help in any other way please contact Lenard Monkman at lenardmonkman@gmail.com
  • Donations can be dropped off with the AYO team Fridays at MM@BT

There you have it! After 7 years of existing it is amazing to see how our volunteers and partner organizations continue to work together to make space in the village for community to be created. We have now shared 7 of our initiatives that you can get involved in this summer either by attending as a participant or getting involved as a helper. See you on the street!

Fearless R2W Page Added to AYO Website

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We have added a new page to the AYO website! We have been hard at work over the last few months trying to regroup the way we organize our website and are going to be sharing the updates with all of you.

Fearless R2W is the initiative that we are working on to empower parents and families in the North End of Winnipeg who are working with the child and family services system.

Click here to visit the site!