2nd Annual Minaake Awards celebrate six INDIGENOUS women in Toronto who are “walking the good path”
For the love of a tree,
On April 10th, the Minaake awards will bring community together to celebrate local Indigenous women and youth who have made positive changes in their lives, made significant contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to others.
celebrations will centre on nominees in the following categories:
Leadership: Recognizes a nominee who has shown leadership in the workplace and/or community that brings about positive change for others.
Advocacy and Human Rights: Recognizes a nominee who works to make positive changes to the rights, freedoms and liberties of others.
Good Path: Recognizes a nominee who is walking a good path by setting goals and achieving them to foster positive changes in their own life and/or in the lives of others.
LGBTQ2S/Two-Spirited: Recognizes a nominee who is making positive changes in the LGBTQ and Two-Spirited community. This person does not need to identify as LGBT2S but can be an ally.
Challenger: Recognizes a youth between the ages of 15-24 years old who is setting goals and meeting them, overcoming hardships, demonstrating leadership, and acts as a good role model for young people.
Culture Keeper : Recognizes a nominee who is keeping the culture and/or stories of Aboriginal people alive.
←"For Love of the World" by Charlotte Tall Mountain
Born and raised on Wikiwemikong Unseeded Indian Reserve, Ocean moved to Toronto at the age of 15, looking to shed a troubled past and reinvent herself. Now 18, Ocean is currently employed with the Central Toronto
Community Health Centre as a Youth Empower Mentor, where she provides outreach and HIV/AIDS arts-based workshops. She boldly educates other young people on healthy sexuality, harm reduction and STI prevention, which many of our community members still struggle to talk about today.
Ocean is also a member of the Youth Council (ENAGB) at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto where she supports the prevention and intervention of mental health and addiction challenges faced by those living in the GTA.
S: What is it about the urban landscape that invites you to reinvent and do good work?
O: It's just about being able to have all of these opportunities. It's being able to take advantage of the opportunities that feed my interests and passion. It really means so much to me. I really appreciate what Toronto and all of the services, supports and organization have provided for me, because I wouldn't have achieved so much without them. Being able to access services, learn more and pass on that knowledge is important, you understand, right?
S: Totally. I understand. It's what keeps me in the city too! In all the positive, are there any challenges that you or others you work with are currently facing?
O: Of course I face obstacles working in the community. There's going to be discrimination and stigma everywhere you go. That's what I'm trying to break down within our aboriginal communities; to move past the bad outlooks that life brings.
S: So how do you keep yourself well when these things do happen?
O: So, how to keep my head up you're saying?
O: Honestly, my mom. When I feel like I'm going through a hard time, I just talk it through with my mom and figure it out. I've learned a lot of coping skills through my recovery journey and I've come to know when my stress level is up and to give time for self care. I take time to chill out or connect with traditional roots; to smudge or go to sweat.
S: What are you celebrating in this recognition as a youth challenger at the Minaake awards?
O: It gives me some closure and forgiveness for things I've experienced in the past. I just want to keep moving forward and being there for the people.
CIBC Commerce Court West
199 Bay Street 56th Floor, South Gallery
on Thursday, April 10
from 5:30 pm -8:00 pm
$125 single ticket
$800 table (8 per table)
for more information visit the Minaake Awards website or call the Native Women's Resource Centre (NWRCT) at (416) 963-9963 ex. 212
All event proceeds will support core services at the NWRCT.