The conference was hosted by the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council and held at the Brandon University on July 15, 2015.
Phil Fontaine was the keynote speaker for the day and his message of equality and unity brought forward a true compassion for working together in words that only he could lay the foundation for. Mr. Fontaine spoke to the room with vindication in his voice and through his guiding words the audience listened to his truths. As one we can change not only our community but start a ripple in the foundation of our country. The stage was then complimented with the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce’s President, Jessica Dumas who spoke about the initiatives surrounding Aboriginal business development and the opportunities that exist in Manitoba and Canada for the growth of Aboriginal inclusion into economic planning within urban settings.
During the noon hour a presentation from KC Adams, a visual artist, took to the stage with an explanation of art and an important message of self-identity. KC spoke about her art and how she became involved with the world of art and the messages that she shares through her own identity of an Aboriginal person.
The afternoon of the conference was uplifting and motivating. We got to know our speakers on a personal level as they brought us into their life and shared with us those moments of despair that changed their own lives. Joe Roberts, the self-proclaimed Skid Row CEO had the audience take a walk through his journey as he spoke of the hard times with poverty living under a bridge and the moments that led him to ultimately changing his future. Depression, addictions, homelessness and full out despair is what Joe started his story with, however it was the determination, supports and self-identity that brought Joe to new happenings of an education leading him to a high profile business mogul. His words of wisdom and moving story had the room filled with light. Collaboration was a message left by Joe; by collaborating with partners for the development of business models he was able to take everything to the next level. Knowing that supports come from working together and moving initiatives as one is another note that was shared by Joe.
Michael Redhead Champagne, a young Aboriginal activist from the north end of Winnipeg inspired the audience to see that one person can make a difference and that through his community he was putting the streets back to a safe place as a community. Meet me under the bell tower is one of the initiatives for taking back the streets and increasing community safety that Michael spearheads every week in Winnipeg. His eagerness to make a difference is evident, and through his own teachings he is taking his movement to a whole new level. Michael is also the founder of A.Y.O (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) and is a frontman for increasing the involvement of youth into programming and supports. Listening to our youths was a strong message shared with the room, we often underestimate our youth before we give them a chance to deliver and succeed. Putting our hopes and supports into our youth will benefit the future; as the future is today!
Have a video, podcast or story you would like featured here contact us with full information.