I was honoured to spend Sunday, May 27 surrounded by nature in the comfort of the Turtle Lodge on Sagkeeng First Nation. I was invited by Crissy Courchene to attend the coming of age gathering which was hosted by local and national Elders. I sat quietly surrounded by women and girls entertained by flute music and listening to the teachings from Elders. The fires burned all afternoon while Elders spoke honestly reflecting on their concerns about the impact of drugs on families and communities. Tears flowed as the pain of personal struggles was shared and hope was expressed as dreams for a brighter future were highlighted. It had been many years since I had sat in a sacred circle and was very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with Grandmothers. The lessons learned will give me strength to continue working to ensure MYS provides the highest quality programs possible for our youth and their families.
As my week continued I met with team members and stakeholders, continuing to learn about MYS and its programs. We are very fortunate to have such positive working relationships with many community organizations including the Department of Families. These strong partnerships will assist MYS as we adapt to the changing needs of families across Manitoba.
I was very pleased to participate on a Mobile Crisis Team ride along. It was a busy day as we supported families in getting their children to school, completed a risk assessment and intervened with a youth in crisis on the Arlington Bridge. I was so impressed as I observed the MYS Mobile Crisis Team confidently engage, assess, and support youth. Their nonjudgmental and caring approach was obvious, as they gathered the information necessary to establish a plan. The adrenaline I experienced reminded me of my days as an Intake worker in Regina during the early 1990's. If I can't be found walking around 175 Mayfair check with the Mobile Crisis Team I might be on another ride along ! Mobile Crisis Team provides an invaluable resource to families all 365 days of the year.
Our Rob Black celebrated his birthday this week with his MYS family. He invited me to participate in the Independent Living Services team meeting. It was impressive to hear how the team works so tirelessly to address the needs of youth on their road to independence. They not only provide housing supports but also assist with recreational, cultural and employment services . Their unconditional support is such an important piece of the puzzle for these youth.
This past week I saw the continuum of service that is provided at MYS for families and youth. Every day as the sun goes down I am grateful to the team members who have dedicated their lives to Manitoba youth and to the families that allow us into their lives and to the community that has supported MYS for nearly 90 years to do the work.
I want to thank the MYS team for their initiative in supporting our participation in the 2018 Pride parade. It was wonderful to see members of our Team dressed in tie dye rainbow shirts supporting diversity and love.