This spring, Ka Ni Kanichihk received funding from the Manitoba government for two important initiatives that will serve our community – the creation of a youth hub and mores services for victims of assault. We are grateful they understand the immense need to meet community where they are.

 Youth Hubs

In March, the creation of five new youth hubs, including one based at Ka Ni Kanichihk, was announced by the Manitoba government, Shared Health, the United Way and other funders.

Youth Hubs bring services to youth, instead of them having to find their way through what may be difficult systems of mental health care, addiction services, primary care, peer support and other social services. Here at Ka Ni Kanichihk, access and information will be in one youth-friendly site.

“These spaces are so important for youth,” said Kayleigh, a young mentor and community leader who helped develop the Ka Ni Kanichihk-led funding proposal. “These Youth Hubs will be safe places, where youth can feel like a big family, feel loved, and receive the help and support that they need.”

The province invested because Youth Hubs have been shown to increase quality of life for young people. With them, youth have:

  • Improved access to mental health and addiction services, with integration between the two and the broad range of care, supports and services they need
  • Meaningful engagement and involvement for youth and their families in the planning, delivery, evaluation and continuous improvement of integrated youth service
  • Early intervention and help with issues before they become bigger and affect relationships, school, work or other aspects of their lives
  • Increased acceptance around treatment of mental health and addictions issues.

The Youth Hub at Ka Ni Kanichihk will serve the Centennial and Point Douglas neighbourhoods. Our partners include the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network and the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resources.

Expanding Heart Medicine Lodge

In April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the province announced funding for supports and services to victims of crime. Some of the money was specifically set aside for Ka Ni Kanichihk and other Indigenous-led agencies to take the lead on programs that address violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTTQ2S+ people.

Ka Ni Kanichihk will use this much-needed funding to expand our Heart Medicine Lodge program. Heart Medicine Lodge provides essential, culturally-based, trauma-informed services to Indigenous survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence. Supports include Elder counselling, a 12-week healing program, peer supports, drop-ins, sharing circles and advocacy.