News / Winnipeg

Reconciliation beyond the classroom: University of Winnipeg pilot program links students with North End organizations

The goal of the program was to give Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and newcomer students a role in the reconciliation process.

A new University of Winnipeg inner-city program gave new meaning to "learning experience" to 20 students this summer.  

As part of the department of urban and inner-city studies, the students joined the Youth United work/study pilot program, which brought them to organizations in the city’s North End—including the Community Economic Development Association, Ka Ni Kanichihk, Onashowewin, Spence Neighbourhood Association, Native Women's Transition Centre and the North Point Douglas Women's Centre.

“The experience has reminded me how much the youth themselves are experts in their own lives, and our role is to give them resources, and build trusting relationships with them,” said Aine Dolin in a media release. Dolin spent the summer working with youth at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

The goal of the program was to give Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and newcomer students a role in the reconciliation process.

“I grew up in the inner city in a disadvantaged setting, and I did not have a Ma Mawi to turn to. Many people don’t see the potential in these kids, but these youth are so smart and aware and the holistic approach at Ma Mawi is really changing lives,” said Melissa Paypompee, who also spent the summer helping to organize youth programs at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata.

The pilot program, funded by the City of Winnipeg, is expected to take place again next summer.

More on Metronews.ca