Sunday, December 19, 2010

North End Youth Light Up Selkirk Avenue

On Thursday December 9, 2010 a newsworthy event occurred in Winnipeg’s North End. The 7th Annual “Lighting Up The Avenue” occurred on this night and brought nearly 300 North Enders into the street for eating, singing, gifts and of course, lots of lights. Several local media outlets were in attendance to cover the event. The event was organized by Aboriginal Visioning for the North End and the North End Community Helper’s Network, and supported by Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad, The University of Manitoba, The Indian Family Centre and North End Community Renewal Corporation.

The event has been taking place for the past 7 years and brings out more community members each year. Occurring between the Indian Family Centre (470 Selkirk Ave) and Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre (472 Selkirk Ave), community came together and celebrated the season. Morning Star and Little Butterflies Drum Groups further brightened the festivities by sharing their drum and voices with the community. At approximately 6:00pm, 2 large Christmas trees were lit up by the community, led by Michael Champagne and Shaneen Robinson. After wards, all were able to sit together to share a feast served by the Santa hats (or volunteers).

Driven by Youth

This event was highly volunteer driven, bringing out volunteers of every shape and size, many of the usual suspects and some new helpers as well. Community youth assisted more than in any other year, sporting Santa hats and running errands inside and outside both buildings on the chilly December evening. They truly supported each of the activities acting as Elder helpers, food servers, environment crew and media relations. As in years past, there was plenty of food to eat and many free door prizes to be given away. The children at the event got a surprise when Santa came by to deliver goodie bags full of surprises (and candies and some mittens). A new addition this year, students from the University of Manitoba were on hand to provide folks with traditional aboriginal games. Thank you to Shaneen Robinson for emceeing the event for a second year in a row.

So Proud

Many of the youth commented via various social media sites after the event. They included such statements as "so proud of North End Youth" and "The North End is our Family." Any time young people and community can come together, celebrate and walk away with a sense of pride and especially a sense of community pride should be applauded. Congratulations to the young people that worked tirelessly in the days leading up to the event providing many organizations and businesses up and down Selkirk Avenue with lights to put in their storefront windows. These young people were even involved in the set up and tear down of the event. Congratulations to the staff, organizations and community members for such a successful celebration of what the North End is truly about and why us young people represent!

Although most media outlets chose to cover the story in a positive light, some news sources chose to correlate the event to the violence that occurred earlier this year in Winnipeg’s North End. "Lighting Up The Avenue" is truly an event that achieves the purpose of bringing community together to share, laugh and celebrate and has nothing to do with violence.

Friday, December 3, 2010

AYO! Forever

Sup World

Guess what? It is tOtaLly almost time for me to unveil the Master PlanZ for AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. I'm so excited I can barely sleep.

MC Update
So I have begun doing speeches again @ United Way Winnipeg which is awesome cuz I got to do a bit of work with Mr Mark Chipman, which is awesomeness. I am still @ my job with SAFE Workers of Tomorrow and am so excited because I NOW HAVE A PLACE TO STAY!!!!! Hooray for Redwall. In other car has bit the bullet and requires a new engine in order to be it really worth is, is it?

We as a group have been gaining momentum since we began this anti-gang journey in the North End of Winnipeg in March of 2010. We are an informal, non-funded network of community youth who will not stand for this anymore. We have an example to set and are sick of people doing things FOR us and AT us. We will decide what we need to heal. Thank you very much. AYO! has a main goal of filling in the gaps that current youth serving agencies in the North End of Winnipeg are failing to address. We'll build it ourselves if we have to. My next post will explain what some of the projects with AYO! are gonna be. We got this you guys, we got this.

Follow me on Twitter if you wanna @northendmc. I have become quite infatuated with this Twitter business...I kinda like it. I am gonna start REPRESENTING with the #AYO hashtag. And while we are on the topic of Social Media, you folks better check me out on Youtube (Michaelp3) and as myself, on Facebook.

Thank You
So much to the organizations and community/city leaders that support the young people in the North End. I would like to specifically shout out to Judy (for Mayor) and Kevin Chief for being local political role models and inspiring the young people to get involved. Fantastical.

Check back soon, more plans with AYO! are on the way!



North End MC

My photo
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.