Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Have A Dream... AYO Creativity Centre

I have a dream.

For real.

I just took this picture at the North side of the Salter (Slaw Rebchuk) bridge. Its the empty lot that is across from Nepon Autobody and Seed Winnipeg. It is clear, except for that beautiful looking tree in the middle of it.

The Dream

I believe that someday, that sight will be the home of the AYO Creativity Centre. I don't know what that means yet, exactly, but I know it'll be a place where Youth, and north enders of all kinds can go to create, learn and dream. It will be a place where AYO Leadership can take root, and a place where we can begin to share the knowledge and the skills that we have attained over our years as Aboriginal people, as youth, as leaders. It will be a place where we are free to dream audaciously and share these dreams with others. Obviously we would have to build the building including the tree in the design...a building with a tree in the middle of it....respect for the land and nature...I believe it can happen. Once these ideas are explored and nurtured, we would give them away. And repeat.

But why?

I don't know. But I do know that when our young people have an idea, or a challenge, that their natural resiliency allows these young people to figure out what would make things better, and usually get it completely right. Some people have called us reckless. Some people have called us dangerous. But if a little bit of recklessness will change this bullshit cycle our communities are trapped in, then I say let's go. Let's be audacious. Let's challenge systems and try to build things from the grass roots. 'Cause that's where the knowledge and wisdom is deepest. When one is passionate about creating a better tomorrow for their community, the next generation, and the world, and with the support of our families and communities, we will reverse those trends. We will create An actual world for them to grow up in where their ideas can get even bigger.

Missing Murdered Nation

There is a lot of talk about the state of our people these days; Attawapiskat, Pikangikum, Chiefs meeting with the Prime Minister, and the possibility of a youth led native uprising. Our men are embattled by courts, cops and gangs. Our youth are treated as lesser beings, undermined and underestimated. Our elders are targets, waiting for their next tormentor. Our women. Our women. Our women; are objectified, raped abused and murdered with no adequate response from officials or police.

No More

This Creativity Centre will allow us as young people with a future in this community to come together and truly feel safe. Leave your colours and attitudes at the door and come on in. You are all welcome here.

I have a dream.

I mean it.


  1. Michael, you make my heart swell with pride to live in the North End as I read this. You have a dream, yes. And your dream is beautiful! I KNOW you will see it happen, too, because that is who you are. You believe, and NOTHING and NO ONE can keep you from making a change. I am proud to call you friend & colleague.

  2. "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough." - Lowell Lundstrum


    and dido what Christina said :)


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.