Thirty-five Grade 6 to 9 students have attended the Mino Bimaadiziwin – “Leading a Good Life” Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program being held for the second time by Lakehead Public Schools at Lakehead University during the week of August 15. The program continues to focus on life skills, leadership, healthy relationships, positive self-esteem, self-awareness and the connections to education.
“Through cultural connections, this program strives to encourage the students to become role models and leaders in their schools and their communities,” says Anika Guthrie, Indigenous Education Resource Teacher at Lakehead Public Schools. “The program provides various opportunities to develop those skills as the students work with camp staff and participate in numerous cultural teachings and leadership activities.”
Mino Bimaadiziwin is based on the award-winning program Walking the Path and modelled after the O.P.P. Youth Camp, Niigan Mosewak (Moving Forward) offered for the past nine years in Eastern Ontario. The students have been staying in residence at Lakehead University and also participated in an overnight trip to the Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre.
The students began arriving at Lakehead University Residence on Sunday, August 14. The camp is hosted by Lakehead Public Schools in partnership with George Couchie – Redtail Hawk Training and Consulting, Ministry of Education, Thunder Bay Police, local and provincial O.P.P., Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre and Lakehead University.
“Mino Bimaadiziwin also provides an opportunity for the students to foster positive relationships and build strong connections with build strong connections between Aboriginal youth and educational partners, police, community agencies and support networks,” says Guthrie.
George Couchie, educators, police officers and community leaders were in attendance.