Youth Voices Forum Focuses on Aboriginal Youth Success and Leadership

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BRANDON, MB – From February 13-15, 2015, the Vital Outcome Indicators for Community Engagement (VOICE) Youth Community Circle and Brandon University are bringing together First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) youth from across Manitoba to share perspectives on youth success at the Working Together to Support Youth Success–Youth Voices Forum.

The conference is for youth leaders who are passionate about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues and who want to work with university researchers to build youth success and leadership. The forum will provide workshops on leadership, youth empowerment, and community-based research led by FNMI youth leaders and Brandon University (BU) Faculty of Education researchers. Delegates will receive training that develops capacity for youth-led community-based research so they can actively participate in creating research that builds on community strengths to develop strategies to improve youth leadership and success.

“This gathering is an outstanding opportunity for youth community leaders to come together, to develop skills and knowledge, and ultimately, to make a difference for their communities,” says Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, Associate Dean of Education. I am delighted that researchers in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University have taken the initiative to work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Manitoban youth to design this important event.”

The Working Together to Support Youth Success–Youth Voices Forum is an initiative of the BU Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies VOICE Research Project. The goal of the VOICE Research Project is to help communities achieve success for children and youth, particularly from FNMI, northern and rural communities in Manitoba. Community engagement and the development of community-based research capacity are two primary goals of the project. The BU Faculty of Education has been instrumental in working with communities to identify indicators of success and build capacity that will support community-led research projects. The forum is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Brandon University, Vale and the University College of the North.

Dancers in traditional regalia engage in the “Potato Dance ” at 2013 Graduation Pow Wow

BU Acting Vice-President (Academic and Provost), Dr. Heather Duncan, says, “Brandon University is excited to host this innovative and creative project that aims to engage Aboriginal youth in building leadership capacity through community-based research.”

Michael Champagne, youth advocate and creator of ‘Meet me at the Bell Tower’ will be the keynote speaker. The VOICE Youth Community Circle and the Brandon University Aboriginal Students Council will also be hosting a Round Dance for Working Together to Support Youth Success–Youth Voices Forum delegates and Brandon University students.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.



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