Youth of Birdtail Sioux

Topics: Manitoba, Youth, Indigenous Communities
Michelle Palansky | May 27, 2020

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The Canadian Red Cross has been working with Birdtail Sioux First Nation for the past six years, providing a variety of training opportunities for the youth and community leaders: Action Planning, Bullying Prevention training for youth, BeSafe!, Healthy Relationships, Bullying Prevention for adults, and Walking the Prevention Circle. The work revealed similar challenges and concerns for both youth and leaders in the community. Over the past year, the Violence Prevention team worked on assisting the two groups to communicate clearly and work together to achieve common goals.

The first step in unification was inviting Birdtail Sioux First Nation youth to participate in the Youth Action Planning workshop. Over two days, youth identified and discovered their community’s strengths, challenges, and learned how to transform their dreams into action plans. They want increased youth resources, opportunities for employment, after school programs, and improved safety, the same things the leaders want for the community. After working with the youth, the Violence and Prevention team followed up with community leaders. These follow up meetings identified gaps in communication between the two groups and facilitated fresh opportunities to work together.

The Canadian Red Cross assisted the community by providing an additional grant to implement portions of the Youth Action Plan. Due to COVID-19 school closures, the grant was re-channeled to provide at-home activities and supports for youth.

The Canadian Red Cross will continue to work with Birdtail Sioux to facilitate better communication between the youth and the leaders, leading to a stronger community.