Aboriginal Youth Conference in line with essence of MRU
Unveiling youth potential is at the heart of Mount Royal University and is the core theme of the inaugural Aboriginal Youth Leading Change workshop set to take place in Ross Glen Hall on Oct.30.
Mount Royal’s Faculty of Health and Community Studies (Community of Practice for Indigenous Health) is collaborating with Bridges Social Development and LaVie Society to offer a workshop for Aboriginal youth between the ages of 15 and 29.
Andrea Pritchard Kennedy, associate professor in the School of Nursing, and member of the Community of Practice for Indigenous Health, sits on the workshop organizing committee.
“This youth engagement piece is a great fit with Mount Royal,” says Kennedy.
“We’re hoping it will support our Aboriginal students at Mount Royal and Aboriginal youth throughout Alberta while tapping into the expertise that many of the faculty have with youth engagement.
That’s a priority for Mount Royal — to learn and connect with the community and provide support.”
The free workshop is designed to support Aboriginal youth in exploring and developing their leadership potential and learn how to be effective change agents in their own community through social entrepreneurship.
The workshop will also feature guest speakers with compelling visions for the potential of Aboriginal youth leaders.
Heading up the guest list will be Senator Patrick Brazeau, the third youngest person ever named to the Upper Chamber of Parliament.
Dr. Alika Lafontaine, Métis physician and 2008 winner of CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minster competition; will also be joining the panel as will Ashley Callingbull, a Miss Universe Canada finalist and avid volunteer who takes great pride in her Native Cree heritage.
During the one-day workshop, youth participants will have the opportunity to hear the inspiring wisdom stories of each of the speakers and engage in energizing activities and thought-provoking dialogue with other youth leaders.
Donna Kennedy-Glans, founder and executive director of Bridges Social Development, says it was ideal to collaborate with Mount Royal to bring this event to life.
“We’re an organization that focuses on education and training and Mount Royal is an institution that also does that with strong ties to the Aboriginal community — so it’s a perfect alignment.”
“I hope the workshop will help Aboriginal youth be open to their own story and seek further opportunities to clarify their own journey and aspirations,” says Kennedy-Glans.
“I hope it will whet their appetites and their imaginations. For some it will light a fire in their bellies and they’ll want to do something more and that’s exciting — we call it unveiling youth potential.”
Young Aboriginal leaders attending the workshop will be invited to think about their training priorities. Bridges Social Development has a formal Unveiling Youth Potential workshop program that Aboriginal youth leaders may choose to participate in to support them as change leaders and social entrepreneurs in their community.
There are also plans to hold additional Aboriginal speaker and youth engagement series at Mount Royal.
— Jondrea De Ruyter, Oct. 28, 2010
Aboriginal Youth Leading Change workshop
Date: Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010
Mount Royal’s Faculty of Health and Community Studies — Community of Practice for Indigenous Health
The Community of Practice for Indigenous Health is made up of a broad cross-section of faculty members from the Faculty of Health and Community Studies and also includes members from the Iniskim Centre.
Newly formed on Oct. 6, the Community of Practice for Indigenous Health brings together a group of people who share a concern or passion for indigenous health to support faculty and student innovation and community development.
The group also maintains a blackboard site where individuals may post their projects and links relating to Aboriginal issues in Calgary and broader Alberta, national Aboriginal issues and international indigenous issues.