Aboriginal youth have set out from First Nations communities across the province and will convene this afternoon in Winnipeg for the first-ever Youth Exchange on food security in Manitoba.
The hands-on learning experience is facilitated by Food Matters Manitoba, a registered charity working toward a fair, sustainable and healthy food system for all Manitobans – for life.
The event features hands-on food skills workshops, such as gardening and working in a hen house at Fort Whyte Alive, followed by a trip to Peguis First Nation where youth will learn traditional food skills like skinning and ice fishing.
Youth Exchange 2014 also gives youth a chance to have their voice heard and work toward change – in a province where almost half of food bank users are children, and 24% of on-reserve children go hungry daily.
Food Matters Manitoba is hosting the Youth Exchange as part of the ‘Sharing Our Food Stories’ annual event. Youth participants will produce digital media stories as a medium for sharing their own stories of food insecurity.
Some participants are even facing down their fears in order to attend the event.
“I really don’t like flying. I think it’s scary.” says 12 year-old Zach Henderson, who will be traveling from Fox Lake to join the Youth Exchange. “But I really want to go. I would regret not going.”
“The 2014 Youth Exchange is a truly remarkable first-time event,” says Kreesta Doucette, Executive Director of Food Matters Manitoba. “We are giving youth a voice to tell their own food stories, and Food Matters Manitoba will work with them toward accessing and establishing healthy food systems and food skills they can use for a lifetime.”
The Youth Exchange kicks off at 6:00 p.m. tonight at the Marlborough Hotel. Workshops will include field trips to Fort Whyte Alive on Thursday afternoon, and day trips to Peguis First Nation on Friday, and Ka Ni Kanichihk on Saturday.