Thursday, April 28, 2011

#BBB (Belated Birthday Bash) = Awesomeness


We shared these accomplishments, released our Annual Report and of course had some awesome food (cake, veggies, pizza and fruit). We had about 25 people gathered (as young as 10) for our first Birthday Bash at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House. 5 Members of the Leadership Team shared their IdeaZ and encouraged attendees to join the movement. AYO exists as a youth led network, and will adapt as needed to suit the needs of the youth involved. We are committed and call upon our bothers and sisters to share their gifts. We were able to share our ideas and also receive some support from some very special and committed people. The love and support that was felt in that room tonight was so appreciated. I am so proud of what we have been able to do so far. Wordness.

The Leadership Team did a fantastic job sharing their ideas and why it as important. Ninoondawah, Riel, Rocky, Jenna and myself each shared our ideas and explained a few benefits of being involved in AYO! and engaging with our community. We shared 4 ideas that were represented in our first ever Opportunity Fair: Creative Expressions, ARROWS Youth Engagement Strategy, PolitiX and the AYO! Leadership Team. We offered various materials and info about our ideaZ and of course, the Friend of AYO! Form.


AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities!) started on March 17th 2010 with 30 people gathering and saying that they wanted to work together to make this community stronger. One year later, look what you have done. We have 7 members of a Leadership Team that have taken responsibility for various Ideas that AYO! shares. We have developed the Creative Expressions program that has already delivered 24 days of creativity support to youth in our community. We have developed training sessions to empower youth leaders and educate youth workers about the importance of relationships (180 people trained). We have even ventured into the political arena with an on-going political education initiative. Those are only some of our ideas. In addition we have a strong online presence, constant community events, representation on committees across the city and plans to increase food security awareness.

AYO Family

Thank you to Margo (North End Food Security Network) for setting up a booth for our Opportunity Fair. AYO and NEFSN are working together and sharing the exciting opportunities that are coming. They even have their own blog here. Also thank you to all the adults and community helpers that came out to support us and offer their assistance. We had many people offer and show their support and our next steps are to gather the info, process it and continue forward. Thanks so much to all the young people that offered to share their gifts and help make our community... awesomer.

Love n Respect


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AYO! Belated Birthday Bash

What is it?!

The Belated Birthday exactly what it sounds like, a late birthday party. We are gonna do things in an AYO! way though, lol. We will be celebrating all that we have been able to accomplish, present the Leadership Team to the world, and also (of course) have some cake. There will be a few prizes for people to win, and opportunities to get involved. Come on down and ask any questions that you may have.

What are we doing there?!

Our agenda is quite simple. We will start with the Welcome, aka some opening remarks (I'll handle the MC duties for that). Next up, we will have Idea Sharing, where each AYO! Leadership member will have the opportunity to speak to and share about what their vision is for our community and how their Idea area can help. Next up we will have a Q & A Period where community members and media can ask questions of the leadership members. Finally, we will finish (appropriately I think) with an Opportunity Fair where we display 4 AYO! Ideas and encourage any interested youth to sign up to get involved, and allow anyone who wants to offer their support, a chance to work with this grassroots initiative called AYO!.

How do I get there?!

The Circle of Life Thunderbird House is at Main Street & Higgins Avenue. Most busses take you downtown and allow you get to that intersection. MAP IT HERE.

And then...

Don't forget to catch up on what happend @ our PolitiX event last week as well as our first ever Green UpdateZ (shout out to North End Food Security Network for their awesomeness)

Love n Respect peeps


AYO! goes Green

Sup people, check out the following stuff comin' up for AYO! This is our first 'Green Update, focusing on healthy eating and getting involved in creating a gardening way. Send an e-mail to if you want to get involved or attend!

1. AYO! BBB – Belated Birthday Bash (Thunder Bird House)

§ Wednesday April 27th 2011 4:00-6:00pm

§ Come and celebrate one year of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities! We will be presenting our Ideas and sharing them with our partners and the community in our first ever Opportunity Fair.

2. Mark @ Urban Eatin’ Gardeners Co-op & North End Food Security Network

§ Weekly Opportunity

§ McDonalds sucks. Veggies are awesome. This is an opportunity to learn about growing your own veggies from someone who knows their stuff. Contact MC for more info.

3. Farm Tour Day!

§ Wednesday May 4th @ 9am (meet @ 509 Selkirk)

§ Have you ever seen a 40 foot tomato plant?! Well, come on down and hang with MC and Margo, go on a road trip and see some crazy hydroponics in Steinbach. This will be Hydroponics & More! H&M will be an ongoing summer initiative that any one interested in growing their own veggies can attend. [Hazmat suits supplied]

4. Farmer’s Market Helpers

§ Summer 2011

§ This summer we are going to be having a NEFSN Farmers Market. We would need people to man the vendors, do some baking, and make a few dollars. If you think this sounds like an opportunity you are interested in, sign up with MC.

5. Make your own Garden @ North Centennial

§ Sat. May 28th (10am-2pm) & Wed. June 8th 2011 (1-2:30pm)

§ Need a summer beach bod? Come work out those pythons!! What the heck is a butterfly garden? Come find out! There will also be a children’s garden you can help set up. We will also invite some elders to give us some cultural direction. We will have an awesome hEaLThY lunch for all the helpers.

Stay Green peeps :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

PolitiX lands in Winnipeg North

Aboriginal Youth got an Opportunity to raise their voices yesterday at a forum for Winnipeg North candidates at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House. ‘AYO! presents: PolitiX’ was the inaugural event of an ongoing political education initiative that hopes to educate young people about politics and the importance of voting. Winnipeg North hopefuls Kevin Lameuroux (Liberal incumbent), Rebecca Blaikie (NDP) and John Harvie (Green) all attended the event.

Inspired by the exciting civic election and federal by-election in the fall of 2010 the PolitiX idea began with organizer Michael Champagne approaching the candidates for City Councilor and asking a few questions that matter to the young people he works with. Many young people were engaged by seeing local North End residents Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Kevin Chief running for office and were already familiar with their long records supporting our community. In addition, the project was supported in its development by Rocky King and other members of the AYO! Leadership Team and supporters (Go Judy & AK & Riel & Jenna & Creative Expressions & NECRC).

Get Real

Approximately 25 people attended the 2 hour event that saw 3/5 candidates participate in a North End style Q&A activity with participants called ‘Get Real!’. The youth were provided with forms to jot down their Yes or No questions that they could then pose directly to the candidates. In response, the candidates were only able to hold up their Yes/No signs and their replies had to wait until the end of the question period. Once the young people were finished asking their questions, the candidates were able to rebut with a 10 minute (maximum) response. It was an excellent opportunity for youth to get their questions out and ask the questions that truly matter to them. Admission to the event was free, and an interesting note: invitations for the event were done strictly on Twitter. Ann Matejicka (Conservative) and Frank Kominarski (Communist) were unavailable for tweeting but are also running in the vote set to happen on May 2nd.

The event was organized by members of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) a network of young leaders from the North End trying to make a difference. Their one year Belated Birthday Bash is set to occur Wednesday April 27th 2011 @ 4pm at Thunderbird House. To request more info e-mail us @

Love & Respect


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Ekosi = Thank You (Cree)

I had an amazing birthday where my North End Community came together and shared so much with me. I am so thankful for the gifts and support that I receive from this amazing community that is the North End of Winnipeg. We'll see how this 24th year of living treats us.

Some highlights of my day were Cake & card from SAFE Workers of Tomorrow, a conspiracy aided by community youth and NECRC and of course, an invitation to a birthday dinner! (I also got some time to RELAX) which was muchly needed.

[Shout out to the AYO! Leadership Team makin' change and REPRESENTING as usual :P]

I know this is short, but it needed to be said.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Twittering & PolitiX

So Apparently its Election time.

And some of us know what that means, while others just ignore it, because lets face it, fake promises are annoying. In any event there are 2 things that must be mentioned in this blog post. (and also, man did I ever miss blogging in this last month, things have been SO busy!)


Holy man, not sure if any of you peeps are on twitter, but if your not, it’s the place to be to keep up with election stuff. Its also a great way to directly contact our Winnipeg North Candidates to ask them what’s up. If you try and use up #ELXN41 #WpgNorth hashtags, you can keep all the tweets from our hood together!

So it is a really effective way to engage with politicians and as an example, see how I tweeted with our current MP in #WpgNorth Kevin Lameroux on April 2nd:

MC: @Kevin_Lamoureux hey! Come n meet the youth leaders I work with. April 21st @ 4pm. Deal? #elxn41 #winnipeg

[several hours with no response]

MC: @Kevin_Lamoureux are u ignoring me?

KL: @northendmc No, not at all. I'm just going to double check scheduling with the campaign team and get back to you probably by tomorrow.

MC: @ thx for replying! I can only how hectic things have been. Did u go to McDs yestaday? Cuz I didn't see you there?

KL: @northendmc Thanks for the tips! Yes, I was there. Sorry I missed you. Btw, I'm in for your forum in #wpgnorth. Looking forward to it.

KL: @northendmc And sorry about the slow replies. Hectic last few days.

So Kevin is our incumbent (or current) MP (Member of Parliament) and so we gotta talk with him because elections are when ChAnGe can occur. But on May 2nd Mr Lamoureux is running against a slate of other candidates that are also talkin’ a good talk!! Here are our Winnipeg North peeps (and their Twitter accounts):

Liberal: Kevin Lamoureux (@kevin_lamoureux)

NDP: Rebecca Blaikie (@RBlaikieWN)

Conservative: Ann Matejicka (@matejicka)

Green: John Harvie (@JohnHarvieGreen)

Follow them and keep up with what’s shakin’ in our hood!

#2 - POLITIX (youth voice from Wpg North)

So all of this is in reference to an event coming up on April 21st called ‘AYO! presents: PolitiX’! It is the first event of the PolitiX project to come out of AYO! and will be taking place @ Thunder Bird House 715 Main Street from 4 to 6pm. We currently have Kevin Lamoureux and Rebecca Blaikie who have confirmed their attendance! It is open to all young voters (18 to 25) in Winnipeg North. All Federal election candidates will be invited of course. There will be presentation from AYO! Leadership members talking about the importance of voting, as well as a fun game with our candidates called ‘Get Real’! This is where young people get to ask OUR questions and have a voice in the future of PolitiX in our community. Oh yeah, North End Votes is prolly gonna come and help out too.

And finally, any good stuff you got to say bout the North End (on Twitter of course) and how awesome we are here, you can simply use the hashtag #NorthEndRising to keep track of all the awesomeness.



PS – NECRC Youth are gaining momentum and we are planning an event coming up in May that will launch the youth voice in the North End into centre stage. And, AYO! Leadership is dominating with the plans of our BBB (Belated Birthday Bash) on April 27th, celebrating one year of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities! Word!

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.