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To highlight the work Creation Grantees are doing in their communities, the Creation Community Grants Team sends out Q&A forms so they can share their experiences creating and carrying out their projects. Today we are featuring responses from Jocelyn Kagige (respondent), Brooke Debassige and Brandon Shigwadja of the Maamwi Noojmadaa “Let’s Heal Together” Project.

Community: Wikwemikong, Ontario

Grant Type: Small Project Funding (SP.22)

Q: Tell us about your group and project!

A: The Maamwi Noojmadaa collective is comprised of four Indigenous youth from Manitoulin Island who work to support and promote youth healing. Since starting in 2020, the collective has hosted 3 Youth Gatherings, two taking place inperson and one virtually. The events brought together youth aged 12-29 to participate in programming and workshops that promote spiritual, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In 2023, the group hosted a 2-day Youth Conference in Wikwemikong, ON in partnership with the Wikwemikong Prevention program. From facilitators, activities, guest speakers, music performances, games and prizes, we had two fun-filled days of learning, laughing and coming together to “heal.”

Maamwi Noojmadaa "Let's Heal Together" Project logo

Q: As the youth running the project, what impact do you hope it will have?

A: We hope this project will inspire youth to take care of their overall wellbeing, promote cultural awareness, build leadership qualities and create the programs and activities they want to see happen in their community. We hope it shows them that they can do anything they set their mind to and that they too can become their own leader. We make them aware that the collective will support them on their own journey should they have ideas for future programs or obtaining grants.

“We hope this project will inspire youth to take care of their overall wellbeing, promote cultural awareness, build leadership qualities and create programs and activities they want to see happen in their community. We hope it shows them that they can do anything they set their mind to and that they too, can become their own leader.”

Q: What is something you have learned?

A: We have learned the importance of teamwork, communication and knowing your skillset. Our team has been able to do this work for 3 years because of our dedication to wanting the youth of Manitoulin to have the best and brightest futures possible. It takes a community to care for one and we are grateful for our team! We know the importance of believing in your own ideas and working for them, and that grants are possible to obtain when you are passionate about your work and making a difference. 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would share with other youth who want to run a project?

A: One piece of advice we would give to youth who want to run a project is to be confident in their ideas, believe in their capabilities, and allow themselves to be challenged during the process. They are taking on a leadership role and sometimes stepping into that can be uncomfortable, but that is the only way they can grow. 

Plants and lichens on granite shoreline and reflections of blue sky in Georgian Bay Ontario

Feedback from Participants/Other Comments

Based off feedback collected from surveys, the youth enjoyed spending time doing hands on activities which included but were not limited to yoga, values and vision workshop, powwow musical chairs and Elder teachings. They enjoyed the food and loved being able to win prizes. 

Connect with the Maamwi Noojmadaa “Let’s Heal Together” Project!

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Email: Maamwinoojmadaacollective@gmail.com

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