Restoring the Sacred is an Indigenous-knowledge-based program that supports students from rural and northern communities when they move to Winnipeg to complete their high school education. It can be quite a transition – and full of risk and uncertainty. Restoring the Sacred connects youth with volunteer mentors in a safe, supportive environment so that all the young people have someone they can count on for advice, guidance and strong, healthy and meaningful relationships. We want everyone to have a successful transition to the city, and the opportunity to succeed academically. That means ensuring people have a sense of belonging, which can prevent victimization, sexual exploitation, gang recruitment and substance use.

Although in-person, group programming isn’t possible right now, Restoring the Sacred staff have still found plenty of ways to stay connected with participants, while providing them the supports needed.

Restoring the Sacred made adjustments this year to ensure everyone stayed safe. While we usually have group meals, Restoring the Sacred has been providing meal kits to participants every week, with the ingredients and recipes for the youth to make full meals at home for themselves and their families. The meal kits have provided participants with some relief – its one less meal a week they have to plan and shop for during this time when even shopping can be difficult. Participants aren’t the only ones relieved. Their families are as well, as this is the first time their children have cooked for the family!

While making the adjustments has its challenges, it has also been a good opportunity to explore different ways to deliver programming. We plan to continue at-home programming when pandemic restrictions are lifted to add even more support.

To find out more about Ka Ni Kanichihk programs and services and their impact on our community, please visit our Programs page.