It was a great thing to watch the Southern Network Youth Group paint and set up the teepee for our Annual General Meeting on September 29.
(Click on a thumbnail below to view larger images.)
The Presentation of the Youth Engagement Committee at the AGM
During the AGM, Michelle Lemoine, Child In Care Specialist, introduced the Youth Engagement Committee and their efforts in raising teepee. Here's what Michelle had to say:
"Boozhoo, Good Morning and Welcome,
My name is Michelle Lemoine and I have been gifted with the role of Child in Care Specialist here at the Southern Network. As a part of my role I have been blessed with the honor of working with 6 incredible youth.
Back in March of this year the Network had a visit from the Minister of Child Welfare's Special Representative. Our agencies were asked to select youth who could provide their voices and perspectives to speaking with the special representative about what is working within our system and what important changes could be made.
Out of this group youth were invited to join a Youth Engagement Committee that would work to ensure these voices continue to be heard and produce positive change within our system.
Our first project was to design and paint the Southern Network Teepee that will be on display at our AGM. It has been an incredible journey working with these young people and to witness their talents at work.
The Youth Engagement Committee is made up of the following Youth:
- Jasmine Green who is a former youth in care and who is now employed with SECFS
- Michelle Guimond who joins us from SCFS and Merceydes Larose joining us from AOCFS
- Shontise McFayden, former youth in care with SECFS who is now employed with Shaweinum Abinoojii
- Cheyenne Mandamin a former youth in care who is currently attending university
- Elijah Gunner with WRCFS.
Each has contributed their perspective and skills to the design, painting and set up of the Network Teepee.
In the future we will be working with the Southern Network and our Elders Council to establish a vision and mission for our committee that is in line with the needs of the children, youth and families. We hope to recruit more members to represent all of our ten agencies and continue to work towards supporting and providing a youth voice to positive change in our system.
I would like to honour and thank our Youth Engagement Committee for their hard work. It took us 6 full days to draw, paint and set up our incredible Teepee.
These youth volunteer their time and each have very busy schedules following the good path and making success in their own lives. They are truly remarkable.