Northern Youth Roundtable To Address Gang Violence In The North
Manitoba News Release
July 11, 2007
Youth representatives from the isolated Island Lake region of Manitoba are wrapping up meetings in Winnipeg today as part of the Northern Youth Roundtable, organized by Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Eric Robinson. The two-day gathering is intended to generate new ideas for dealing with the inter-related issues of gang violence, poverty, lack of opportunity and suicide in the north.”Young people from isolated northern communities have tremendous potential and we need to listen carefully to them if we want to achieve positive and lasting change,” said Robinson. “The roundtable format allows them to voice their concerns and first-hand experiences so that government can better respond to their unique and changing needs.”
One of the options being considered by the roundtable is the creation of a northern youth advisory committee that would report directly to government.
The meetings were organized in the wake of a series of tragedies in the Island Lake region this spring including two gang-related murders at St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill First Nations.
“We are at a critical point in our history for First Nations youth in this province and in this country, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure their voices are not only heard, but acted on,” said Robinson. “This roundtable is a good start.”
Today the youth representatives from Waasagomach, St. Theresa Point and Oxford House are meeting at the Legislative Building in the morning and are then scheduled to attend the mural unveiling of local artist Patrick Ross at The Forks at 1:30 p.m. They are then heading back to the Legislative Building for the final roundtable session from 2:30 to 5 p.m.
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