Southern Youth Forum 2018

The 2018 Youth Forum was a full day of teachings, games, and mental health awareness working groups. 

 

The Youth Forum is an annual event for both Southern and Northern community students to come together and share their voice about what they want to bring to their communities. “It’s about validating their voices and to be empowered about their place in the future of their communities” says Jonathan Courchene, Student Support Facilitator. The forum is designed to run off of the feedback from the youth so they are getting the support and programming they want. Based on feedback from last year, the students were asking for more opportunities to interact with one another, so this year they were split up into smaller working sessions, had a seating arrangement that encouraged meeting new people, and some games to break the ice.

Elder Bill Ballantyne and his partner, Gertrude, opened the Forum in a good way with a prayer. He also shared a song, a story, and a teaching about the drum. The youth then broke out into the focus groups to learn strategies and skills to keep their spiritual, mental, and emotional well-beings strong. After lunch, Norbert Mercredi and Jonathan Courchene hosted an afternoon filled with traditional games, jokes, and teachings. These games have long stood to not only be fun for the kids of the community but to teach real life skills, such as: patience, aim, protection, and awareness/observation, and teamwork. The group even made a make shift hockey arena in the middle of the conference floor and we ended the day by taking the kids outside for some friendly competition in the fresh air. “Based on the feedback we received from the students that came this year we will be inviting more Elders to come share stories and teachings in the next Forum.” Says Constance Murdock, Student Support Facilitator, “This Forum is about giving the youth a voice to tell us what they want to learn and what they want to express.”

 

 

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