Youth Mentorship Program Launches in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation

March 29, 2023

NANAAN DEWEYZIIN OSHKI ANISHINAABEK: That’s the traditional name given to a new youth mentorship program being offered to the young citizens of Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation. It translates to healing/curing young people.

Members of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO)’s Justice Team, including Youth Mentorship Coordinator Craig Beaulieu, unveiled the program earlier this month at a special community gathering.

They were joined by leaders from Sandy Bay’s Dreamcatchers Youth Movement. SCO will work with the group to provide youth programming on a regular basis. Together, they will partner on youth programming and events to reach as many youth in Sandy Bay as possible such as SCO Youth Nights.

SCO Youth Nights are taking place every Tuesday evening at the Sandy Bay Community Complex. Youth may drop in and take part in a wide range of fun and safe activities that will focus on cultural and land-based teachings as well as intervention and preventative programming. The programming will be dynamic and responsive to the Sandy Bay youth and will continue to evolve to meet community needs.

SCO’s Youth Mentorship Coordinator, Craig Beaulieu, has been working to develop programming for youth in Sandy Bay. He has done this through meeting with a variety of service providers and community resources this year.

The program was developed specific to Sandy Bay’s needs, using multiple methods to engage youth.

The Sandy Bay Council of Elders provided their blessing and guidance for the youth program, including the program name and structure. Elders identified four bundles that should be reflected in the programming, as follows:

  1. Oongii Gewin (Prevention)
  2. Wiibaa Chi Kibitinaamun (Early intervention)
  3. Kite Ishichi Gewin Niiyap Kiigaa Otaapinaamin (Cultural reclamation)
  4. Maa Minoo Naandumouwin (Positive life changes)

It is important for our youth to have role models and mentors. These new programs aim to create a safe space where there is an opportunity for positive interaction amongst peers and adults. Supporting healthy relationships will contribute to the success and well-being of youth in Sandy Bay First Nation.”

The overall goal is to promote a safe and healthy community for everyone.

We salute Craig, the SCO Justice Team, and especially the youth of Sandy Bay, as they move forward together on a healing journey.