Empowering Indigenous Youth: Sacred Circle Manitoba

Impact Report Prepared for Judy and Gary Edwards Summer, 2019 Empowering Indigenous Youth

Your support of Sacred Circle is equipping youth with the resources to take action.

“My three days were amazing! I met lots and of awesome friends. I had the best experience and plan to use the things I learned.” - Youth Participant, Southeast Colligate, Manitoba

WE’s Sacred Circle program is educating and motivating First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth inCanada tomake change andbecome leaders in their own communities. Thanks to the support of the Edwards family, you are enabling us to expand the reach of the Sacred Circle program and create powerful change in Indigenous communities across Manitoba. In this report we are proud to share inspiring stories from youth and educators whose lives have been impacted because of their participation in Sacred Circle. Thank you for helping us lay the foundation for Indigenous youth to celebrate their culture and create lasting change in their communities. Delivered in partnership with community elders and mentors, Sacred Circle provides Indigenous youth with the opportunity to expand their educational foundation, explore their personal and cultural identity, and build a

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sense of belonging. Over the last year,WE’s expert facilitators have provided skills training on topics such as public speaking, conflict mediation and creating business plans to youth acrossManitoba. “It was such a positive experience for me as an Elder. The youth were eager to participate in all the activities. The exercises gave them a chance to reflect on their identities and connect with their emotions. They were able to learn about one another and make new friends. I could go on and on about the positive aspects of the weekend”, shares one of the community Elders. In addition to intensive small-group training sessions, we provide a year of mentorship and coaching to create and fulfill their action plan. Through action planning, participants are able to explore issues that are important to them and put a plan in place to make an impact in their community. Over the past year, the

youth participants have tackled issues such as racism, mental health, drug dependency, youth unemployment and accessible low-cost food security. One group from Winnipeg created an action plan to address the issue of community apathy, which included holding assemblies to help educate their peers on pressing issues in their communities and different ways that they can get involved in order to reduce the amount of apathy. Another group created hand-made posters to hang around the school to raise awareness of issues that the LGBTQ+ community faces. One program mentor shares, “the Sacred Circle program has empowered students to create social change in our community. They have worked together to create dialogue and understanding to working towards these goals. The program has been very beneficial”.

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Educator Spotlight: Andrea Maclvor

Andrea MacIvor has been a participant in WE Schools programing for many years. As an educator and life-long member of the community of Cross Lake, Manitoba, Andrea is passionate about providing the Indigenous youth at D.R. Hamilton High school with the skills they need to succeed. “Indigenous kids are inundated with negative messages about their culture and that gets internalized. Taking part in WE’s Indigenous programming is an opportunity for reconciliation and acknowledgment of worth, building new skills and sharing stories, experience and talents,” she explains. Andrea’s dedication doesn’t stop in the classroom; she regularly spends her weekends going to the students’ homes to engage them in programming and offers her free time to support with piloting new programs and initiatives. “We use service-based learning to empower students to become leaders in our community and engage other kids in the school to participate.” It is because of our amazing partnership with educators like Andrea that WE’s Indigenous programming is able to create transformative impacts in communities like Cross Lake. We are excited to be providing Andrea and her students with the opportunity to attend WE Day Manitoba in 2019 as a testament to her dedication. “Our class is so thankful for this opportunity and so excited to continue this relationship in the future.”

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Being part of WE’s Indigenous programming is one of the best things that I have ever come across as an educator. - Andrea Maclvor, Educator at D.R. Hamilton School, Manitoba

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Thank you.

We are deeply grateful to the Edwards Family for your commitment to WE.

Your support of the Sacred Circle program is continuing to inspire Indigenous youth to become change-makers in their communities.Together,weareempowering a generation with opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their communities. We are excited to continue providing you with updates and stories on the tremendous progress of the Sacred Circle program and the impacts it is having on Indigenous youth. Thank you for inspiring change and making long-lasting impacts in communities across Manitoba.

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Together We Can Change the World

WE Global Learning Centre 339 Queen Street East Toronto, ON Canada M5A 1S9

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