The Manitoba Youth Transitional Employment Assistance and Mentorship (MYTEAM) program recently held a graduation ceremony to celebrate 11 amazing youth who successfully completed over two years of programming.  This is a demonstration of Indigenous youth excellence in action!  MYTEAM youth are survivors of the child welfare system and are at risk of aging out of CFS without the tools and supports they need to reach their goals.  MYTEAM staff help youth make a safer transition out of CFS and into living independently in the community.

Everyone was so excited that due to pandemic restrictions loosening, we were able to come together and celebrate as a group – something we couldn’t do last year. The Graduation was held on the sacred grounds of the Teaching Lodge located at The Forks. Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Leslie Spillett lifted her pipe to honour each of the graduates and gifted each grad with an eagle feather- a symbol of recognition for completing the MYTEAM program.  Following the pipe ceremony, MYTEAM staff shared with the graduates how privileged and honoured we all felt to be able to walk with them on their journey toward independence.  Each graduate received a certificate of completion, a beaded lanyard and a hoodie from Red Road Clothing.  Red Road Clothing

Each youth calls Ka Ni Kanichihk home because of the connection and relationship that was built over the years.  Even though they have graduated from the program, we hope Ka Ni Kanichihk will forever be a part of their lives. We welcome them back home whenever they want or need to.  In our culture we never say good bye, we say, “baa-maa-pii, gi-gaa-waa-baa-min miin-waa,” which means “until later, see you again.”

You can ensure Indigenous people of all ages can heal, learn and succeed through programming at Ka Ni Kanichihk. Please consider donating here kanikanichihk.ca/donate/ or by calling (204) 953-5820. Thank you!