Students go north: Children Rising Mentorship Program
Earlier this month, 11 U of M students traveled to Skownan First Nation for the culmination of the Children Rising Mentorship Program. Coordinated by the student life office, this program is an ongoing learning exchange between our two communities.
While in Skownan, students had the opportunity to go ice-fishing with local students and fisherman, learning about the impact this traditional livelihood has on the community. They also took part in a sharing circle and traditional teaching with two Elders from the community who talked about their experiences in Residential Schools and what that they and their community have done to heal. The Elders also shared traditional teachings that they relearned and now hope to preserve by teaching younger generations.
“It was a powerful and deeply moving discussion,” says Susan Taylor, a service-learning coordinator. “And an incredible opportunity for [our students] to learn.”
The weekend finished with a feast to celebrate the positive relationship our communities have built together through the program.
“I gained a new perspective on northern communities and the challenges they face, and the incredible hard work that Skownan’s community members do in order to ensure a bright future for their young people,” says U of M student Ali Almaleki. “We had the privilege of getting to know some amazing young people who taught us so much about their community and Ojibway culture.”
As part of the Children Rising Mentorship Program, U of M students learn about Anishinaabe culture and history; take part in a sweat lodge ceremony and traditional teachings; visit community organizations, such as Ma Mawi Wii Chi Itata; and meet several times with students from Skownan School. Our students also support students at Skownan School as they participate in the CareerTrek program, a career discovery initiative.
The Children Rising Mentorship Program is a great way for students to learn about culture, build skills and earn recognition on their Co-Curricular Record.
Applications for the 2014/2015 Academic Year will be open soon, with a mid-September deadline. Click here to learn more.
A slideshow of the recent trip