Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Violence Rap

By Arla Biron

It happens on the bus on your way to school
At your friends’ house playin’ in the pool

Usin’ fists and harmful words too
You don’t realize the bad things you do

When kids feel hurt and don’t want to talk
Take them out for a little walk

Tell them bout how to get some help
You know it helps to take a little yelp.


The Focus Of Youth Leadership

The focus of this Youth Leadership group is to help youth find a way to attain and build a healthy equal relationship with others. Spending time together will encourage this group to not only respect each other but ourselves and the land too. The Youth will take part in many activities to strengthen leadership skills, empower youth to survive, embrace our culture and promote healthy relationships in the Métis community by first educating our future leaders.
Some activities that may take place (both weather and time permitting):

  • Hiking
  • Story Telling
  • Survival Skills
  • Canoeing
  • Team Building Activities
  • Brainstorming for Documentary
  • Métis Jigging Workshop

This will be an excellent way for the Métis Youth in our community to come together and get informed about what it takes to have a healthy, equal relationship and the importance of taking pride in our Métis Culture.

"Leaders in our Community"
The Forgotten People- A Look at Steve Powley and Métis Culture

By Hunter Leffler
Who are these people who call themselves The Forgotten People? These forgotten people are of mixed blood types, and the joining of two worlds; the old European world and the new North American Indian world. The Métis called themselves "The Forgotten People".
Métis population in Sault Ste Marie is still very large today. And as most people never really heard of or knew exactly what a Métis was or is, Mr. Steve Powley and Rodney Powley changed that. Mr. Powley and his son both Métis, shot and killed a moose in 1993. They were practicing their native rights at the time when the Ministry of Natural Resources charged them with hunting a moose without a moose tag. It was then, that Mr. Powley began the fight for the aboriginal rights of the Métis, for hunting and fishing. The courts fought for ten years and Mr. Powley never backed down. He and his Métis son stood their grounds to prove that the Métis should have the same rights as a status aboriginal. On September 19, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the judgment of a Métis to be amongst aboriginal people and Aboriginal rights for hunting and fishing under section 35 of the Constitutional Act, of 1982. Steve proved that his family lived and practiced the Métis ways for many years. And this is the reason that he felt that he and his family should continue to do so. Although, Mr. Steve Powley fought and won the rights for him and his family, it never helped him out much. Steve passed away just 1 year after the long battle with the courts. He passed with the clear mind that at least his family and grandchild and so forth will have the rights that they deserve. Many Métis in the Sault area that can also prove that their families have lived and practiced the Métis ways throughout the years are so proud of Mr. Steve Powley and his son Rodney Powley. If it weren’t for the two of them to stand up for the rights of the Métis in this area, then the Métis might have become a dying breed. But due to their fight, the Métis no longer need to call themselves, "THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Objectives Of The Youth Leadership Pilot Training Program:

1. To provide experiential learning for Aboriginal youth in the areas of communication (with a special focus on using the expressive arts to communicate a message), leadership skills and styles, conflict resolution, decision making, time management, and action/work planning.
2. To give Aboriginal youth an opportunity to experience their own capacity to achieve outcomes in the context of taking responsibility for urgent issues impacting their generation.
3. To empower Aboriginal youth by giving them opportunities to develop their positive attributes, enabling them to be self-confident and creative thinkers, planners and doers for the good of their communities.
4. To empower Aboriginal youth to pass their skills and values onto others by working collaboratively on a shared vision for violence prevention.
5. To promote a collaborative, non-abusive, gender-equality ethic among Aboriginal youth that includes serving as champions for healthy equal relationships.

Section 1: Day 1 (Specific Learning Objectives to be Developed)

1. Learning about each other: introductory/ice-breaker skits, story telling.
2. Youth Leadership Programs: YOUCAN rep Love You Give, etc examples of what youth have done and the characteristics and skills that made it possible.
3. Youth Leadership Skills: developing our own checklist of characteristics and skills of youth leaders.
4. Team Building Skills; how to become a learning team for 5-days.
5. Traditional teachings about the cycle of youth on the medicine wheel (male/female Elder do these teachings).
6. What are the strengths of youth in our communities? (Programs, mentors, resources, champions are there already that can help us out?)

Section 2: Day 2 (Specific Learning Objectives to be Developed)

1. Youth Taking Leadership to Stop the Cycle of Violence.
2. What is a ‘healthy’ relationship?
3. What is an unhealthy relationship?
4. What do we see in our communities about relationships that concern us?
5. What do we see in our communities that gives us hope?
6. Generating Ideas: How can youth take action on this issue in our community?

Section 3: Day 3 (Specific Learning Objectives to be Developed)

1. Creativity and Learning – the power of the performance arts to address social issues.
2. Performances: Slam Poetry; Theatre; Rap/Hip Hop; Posters; Dance/Choreography,
3. Videography
4. Fusing our traditional teachings with contemporary performance art.

Section 4: Day 4 (Specific Learning Objectives to be Developed)

1. Project Management Skills
2. Components of an Education/Prevention Project that address what we see in our communities and builds on our strengths?
3. Gathering Phase: who can help us and share their resources with us as well as help us get buy-in from our community and make sure our project gets off the ground? (Refer back to the material generated on Day I)
4. Design and development phase: what might we want to do? Things to consider: what language, what type of artistic medium, what format (sound, audio/visual, print?)
5. Getting our product out there: ideas for performance art or other forms of communication.
6. Mass production – how/who will produce it; how much will it cost?
7. Distribution: website?

Section 5: Day 5 half day (Specific Learning Objectives to be Developed)

1. Creating a workplan based on specific activities, timelines and costs.
2. Condensing our vision and hopes into a practical, achievable plan that fits with our community and our resources.
3. Graduation with Youth Leader certificate and Feast/Performances.
What we learned…
The “Métis Youth as Leaders” are on their way to becoming great leaders

By: Joni Labbe (taken from our brainstorming exercises)

What is a Leader?
  • Someone who is in charge
  • Cares for people’s feelings
  • Doesn’t care what people think
  • An independent person
  • Describe a Healthy Relationship…
  • Loving, communication, trust, take turns, have fun together, like the same things, enjoy each others companies, no violence in any way
Métis Youth Project
About Us

The partner with Minwaawshin Lodge for the Métis Youth Project is the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Historic Sault Ste. Marie Métis Council.

The MNO works with Métis citizens to promote self-government and to protect their rights. An example of a recent important success won by Steve and Roddy Powley of Sault Ste. Marie on behalf of Métis people is the right to hunt protected under the Canadian constitution.

The Healthy Relationships Peer Education Project created by Métis youth during the March Break Leadership Training Program is to develop a mini-documentary and info-mercials/commercials about Métis youth issues for television as well as a Métis Youth Newsletter and Website.

Under the creative guidance of Youth Coach Joni Labbe, Métis youth are spending their summer writing articles for the newsletter, conducting youth workshops on healthy relationships and leadership, creating a graffiti wall and attending youth camps to practice wilderness camping skills, and share their thoughts on cultural teachings about healthy relationships and leadership.

They have designed a range of activities for their project including:

  1. Survival skills workshops
  2. Youth leadership picnic
  3. Métis Jigging lessons
  4. Developing artwork, poetry and commentary for the documentary
  5. Camera, film and editing lessons/experience
  6. Creating success stories featuring Métis youth as leaders
  7. Documenting and filming of all activities by the youth.

The Sault Ste. Marie contact for information about this exciting Métis youth project is Joni Labbe. The Minwaashin Lodge contact is Deb Chansonneuve.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Six Essential Leadership Skills

For Inuit, Métis and First Nation Youth

At the end of the 5-Day Leadership Training Program, participants should show increased competency in the following leadership skills.

Pride in Culture and Ancestry

  • Knows the basic values and teachings
  • Knows the key aspects of history and contribution
  • Shares cultural information with others

A Team-Builder and Team Player

  • Understands differences in leadership style
  • Understands how to influence people and rally them around an idea
  • Able to instill a positive WECAN attitude in othersAble to receive feedback from others and give them quality feedback in return

Models Healthy Equal Relationships

  • Knows the attitudes and behaviors that make relationships unhealthy/healthy
  • Understands the cycle of violenceKnows what to do if a relationship becomes unhealthy
  • Understands the importance of sending a positive message to youth about healthy relationships

Conflict Resolution Skills

  • Knows the attitudes and behaviours that escalate conflict
  • Understands the role of a peacebuilderKnows steps in problem-solving
  • Able to express when needs are not being met

Communications Skills

  • Expresses thoughts and feelings clearly
  • Knows how to give a presentation
  • Knows how to use expressive arts to engage an audience

Action Planning Skills

  • Knows how to assess needs

  • Knows how to brainstorm to generate ideas

  • Knows how to set goals and create a plan

  • Able to shift gears when things are not working

  • Able to identify useful community resources to support plans