We Belong Program
The program is for Inuit youth 13-24 years of age living in Ottawa through the following activities. We Belong is offered from 3 pm-6 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Inuuqatigiit Youth Building located at 76 Queen Mary.
1) Drop-in: Unstructured time during the program that allows for connections with peers, homework completion, crafts, etc.
2) Mentoring: Student mentors from University/Colleges will engage weekly with the youth to develop relationships, assist with the development of skills, stay in school, etc.
3) Bi-Weekly Topic: Guest speakers/workshops e.g life skills, leadership, job readiness, stay in school, etc.
4) Referrals: Internal and external referrals made based on needs of individual youth e.g. mental health, sports and recreation and employment.
5) Individual Supports: Individual supports.
6) Access: Access to computers and internet for job seeking, resumes, school work, etc.
In the summer of 2013, they did a Cultural Exchange program with group of First Nation youth from Webequie, Northern Ontario. It was an event that both groups really enjoyed and would love to do again. Our youth had a chance to learn about this First Nation’s culture and the Northern Ontario youth had a chance to learn about Inuit culture.
This summer TD Bank provided tickets to a Red Black game. The youth had the experience of watching the game from a luxury suite with free food and drink. It was a unique and thrilling experience!
In the past, the Youth Steering Committee worked on developing comic books with a particular focus on: 1) using comics for education and communications and; 2) using comic books for community development, positive social change and personal empowerment.
The workshops were based on the premise that art and storytelling can help communities develop through the exchange of personal experiences. The expression of these experiences helped to raise social awareness around issues affecting urban Inuit youth.