Sunday, February 19, 2012

Save The Burrows (Resource Centre)

So some of you have likely heard that by now, over ½ the money has been raised to save the Burrows Resource Centre, and official from the province and the city are committed to working with the volunteer board, headed by the fearless Irene, in creating a workable solution.

 It is interesting to me that this is happening for several reasons. Burrows Resource Centre, once upon a time used to be called Boyd Park, and was a satellite building for the Sinclair Park Community Centre located at 490 Sinclair (who, by the way just had their grand re-opening yesterday, congrats). Now, once it was decided that it cost more money than made sense to the individuals at the time, Sinclair Park CC let go of the site at Boyd Park, and only operate 1 satellite office now, instead of 2. So I find it odd how as one building is celebrating a new renovation and a grand re-opening, its ex satellite office is being forced to close its doors.

In speaking with folks in both sites, Burrows and Sinclair, it seems like they have an element of agreement. Many of the youth that live around Burrows Resource Centre are not comfortable making the trek all the way to Arlington & Church to play at the Sinclair Park CC. The Burrows Resource Centre serves an area from Arlington to McPhillips, and Selkirk to Mountain. Many young people live in that area and it has been reported in the media that over 200 youth have utilized the building in that time.

What is with this division?

It may seem odd to those that do not live in the North End that youth would not be willing to attend services in a community seemingly ‘a few blocks away’. But I know personally, and continue to observe the phenomenon among youth today, that there are invisible barriers when you are a young person. These are not necessarily gang lines, although they can be, but they are often territories where ‘outsiders’ are made to not feel welcome. And so I believe it is important for groups such as Sinclair Park and the Burrows Resource Centre to continue to work together to provide opportunities for many of the young people that live between their 2 sites.

Not About Money

One last important point I'd like to make is, although the media blitz is having some financial successes with Winnipeggers stepping forward and donating their money to keep the building open, that’s awesome. Also, political pressures seem also to be having quite a nice effect with even the premier Greg Selinger commenting on the case. However, that does not excuse our role as residents of this community to let such a situation happen again. If you are a resident of the North End, living between Selkirk & Mountain & Arlington & McPhillips, I challenge you to become a volunteer with the Resource Centre. I challenge you to become a volunteer because even if we do not have money in our pockets to help, we do have our hands, and we do have our time. So join myself and other members of AYO Aboriginal YouthOpportunities in volunteering one day a week at Burrows so there can be more consistent hours, and more regular opportunities for the young people in that area to have a safe place to be.

Join the young leaders in our North End Community and volunteer.

Meet Us @ The Bell Tower this Friday to hear a speaker from Burrows, and also bring any donations of equipment, money or time with you. You can also donate here at their PayPal.

Love, Courage & Respect


Under The Influence: Dead Indians, Bobby Brown & Billy Paul

Billy Paul – Me & Mrs. Jones (1972)

This is a song from the 70’s that is all about getting a little extra on the side. Yup, it’s a song about cheating. As much as I do not agree with lyrical content every time, this song is awesome for its classic 1970’s vibe and you cannot deny the soulfulness of the original singer. Over the years the song has been covered by many notable artists including Michael Buble, but its original version released in 1972 made it to # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the opening of the original song, it actually samples a saxophone loop from a Doris Day song from 1954 called “Secret Love”.

Bobby Brown – Girlfriend (1986)

In the mid-80’s, Whitney Houston’s notorious lover Bobby Brown had his first solo #1 single sampling the Billy Paul version of the song. Not my favourite....but worth mentioning considering the recent loss of Whitney.

 Dead Indians – Jonesin’ (2001)

And in the early 2000’s, in a world before Streetz 104.7fm, as Aboriginal Hip Hop was trying to make a name for itself, a trio of Aboriginal Hip Hop artists came together once more to sample the soulfulness of Mrs. Jones. Except this time, the gentleman chose to make an 80’s-tastic video, full of mullets and back lane break dancing, while somehow managing to retain the old-school and classic nature of the original track. Since then of course, Dead Indian Member Wab Kinew has launched a successful solo hip hop career, but this post is timey for one exciting reason.

Tonight the Dead Indians are back

That’s right, tonight at the Pyramid Cabaret for only $15 per person, you can see this Hip Hop group return to the stage and begin to once again, bring back a little bit of soul into the Winnipeg Hip Hop scene… Dead Indians style. With Special Guests Winnipeg's Most, Filthy Animals, Lorenzo, Hellnback and Blackout Music. 



PS – I remember when I worked at Ndinawe in 2005 and these gentleman were able to come by and play a Hip Hop show there…it was awesome.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Voices from the Bell Tower - Edition 1

Dear world

I am speechless. The amazingness that our Bell Tower Movement has become is amazing. Last night @ The Indian Family Centre launched its own Community Lending Library, and I am so proud of all of the hard work Michele, Tanya and the whole team over there does in bringing good service to our community. For this Bell Tower Report, we had approximately 60 individuals out, and some exciting announcements and stories to share...see below

A Vision of 1000 people @ Our Bell Tower

I had a dream children cutting out flowers,gluing them on old clothing, then there was a great march, that lit the streets on a sunny day. The light of humanity, but it wasn't just here but all over the world. There was no laughter but cries of mourning for victims of violence who could not join our march. I had to wake for my dream was becoming a nightmare. A wise man quoted NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL THE PROBLEM,THE TREATMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD BE THE SAME, God bless.See you at the bell tower.

Violence Comes in Many Forms

On my way home from the Bell tower tonight, I stopped at a pedestrian walk for a young girl. She looked about fifteen or sixteen. She was so intoxicated that she could hardly stand up. She fell on the street then got up. She was looking for a car to get into. A truck driven by a guy slowed down ---I drove across the street to where she was and phoned the police, then phoned 911 because the main line was on hold- I consider this young lady’s situation as an emergency. Then I started to talk to her- She said her mom made her do this, which to me is a form of violence, then she told me she was raped, which is another form of violence.  I told her she deserved better than this and that she had proud ancestors.  I told her that her mom had no right to do this to her and that it could stop-there was help-then a man stopped- I rolled down my window and told him I would take down his license if he picked her up – he had no intention- he phoned the police too – The police came and both of us asked them to please help her. I told them about what she told me about her mom and being raped.Then I thought of our Missing and Murdered sisters and just hope that this young lady is on a different course. Then I thought about a young girl I mentored a few years ago and how her dad gave her pills and alcohol when she was a  minor and I thought – would my friend be in jail right now if someone had made a stronger stand on her behalf?
There are lots of people who care, from all walks of life-people are changing and I would like young people to know that.It’s not about politics, its about spirit and in the creator we are one-
Keep up the good work ! I have a long prayer list-

 Facebook Love
What a wonderful time at the Bell Tower! I got free mittens as my little hands were shivering :) then won a prize for a ticket for a i-pad! And the best part had somosa's for the very first time! Yum yum spiciness!  A well spent Friday evening!

 The above image was made by 15 year old Matt. I met him for the first time this week @ Ralph Brown's Homework Club. Apparently is he is amazingly talented. Thank for ending your skills, and your hands to our movement.


From MC: Ekosi to the entire Bell Tower movement,  the Indian Family Centre and all of the community members that make this possible every week. Don't forget to come on out next week for 

Ross Eadie's Powers to The People Consultation 
We will be sharing ideas and brainstorming about how to revamp our Bell Tower!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oppression to Opportunity (MC @ TEDxMaitoba)


Recently, I had the week of my life. I was able to make some pretty big decisions and get an opportunity of a life time.

This is where 15 Manitobans get together and share their ideas worth spreading. My idea was AYO, Anti-Gang. Based in culture for all Aboriginal and oppressed youth to learn from.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

NO MORE Elder Abuse on Selkirk!!!


2 women decided they would like to rob an 88 year old woman at Selkirk & Arlington. The police report is below. Our Elder's are being abused...

That makes me so angry!!!

What can we do about this???


PS- shout out to the Winnipeg police who have set up an account so folks can help this elder in our community.

On January 31, 2012, at approximately 1:30 p.m., numerous police resources responded to the Manitoba Avenue and Arlington Street regarding a strong arm robbery involving an 88 year old female victim.

The victim had previously attended to a store located in the 800 block of Selkirk Avenue where she purchased some items and exited. Two female suspects, also in the store, followed the victim out of the business to a nearby back lane. It was at this time the suspects confronted the victim from behind, grabbing at her purse causing her to fall to the ground.

The suspects fled with the victim's purse containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

Due to the efforts of Uniform Patrol members, and Division 13 Detectives, both suspects were identified and arrested.

2 women (24 and 31 years) have been charged with Robbery with Violence. They were detained.


Due to the victim's circumstances, an initiative facilitated by involved members have taken the unique step of setting up a trust account at the Winnipeg Police Credit Union - acct # 1035393.  Anyone interested can contact the Police Credit Union.
Michael  Champagne
"Let us put our minds together to see what life we can make for our children" - Sitting Bull

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.