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Communicating about Water- Workshop #4 – Shoal Lake #39, ON & Water I <3 U Celebration Event-Forks Market, Winnipeg


In April, our sixteen Water I <3 U youth water leaders successfully hosted their community water action events in their communities! The results of all their planning are shared in their Water Action Plans on the Water I <3 U Action page (http://iffculture.ca/action/).

Our fourth and final Water I <3 U workshop took place from May 5-9, 2014 and was hosted by the youth group from Shoal Lake #39.

Elder Elladon Green opened the workshop with a prayer and welcomed everyone to sit by the fire outside her home where she and Elder Jim Green shared stories of their historical and present use of water. Elder David Daniels from Long Plain First Nation joined the youth group for two days and shared his wisdom and life experiences with the youth about storytelling and leadership.

During the week, each group presented their water action, the outcomes, the lessons they learned along the way. The youth worked in their community groups to complete their community water action plans. They brainstormed action steps on how to create a community water action plan with tips and suggestions on how future youth water leaders can create a water action plan for their communities! Check it out here (http://iffculture.ca/take-action/how-to-guides/)

The fourth set of the Water I <3 U digital stories capture their community water action event, and the challenges and successes of working together. (http://iffculture.ca/digital-stories/)

The Shoal Lake #39 community hosted a celebration pow wow the first evening of the workshop.  Two of the local youth, Realle, and Malik, put on their traditional regalia, and everyone danced and received a gift in the giveaway.

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Photo credits: Stephanie Yuill

On our field trip day, we journeyed out to the Whiteshell Provincial Park and enjoyed a tour of the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery, and later hiked the McGillivray Falls trail, and spent some tourist time in Kenora, Ontario. We returned to Shoal Lake for dinner and to enjoy an evening of amazing fiddling music and learning how to jig!

 

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Photo credit: Stephanie Yuill

The youth enjoyed presentations from the University of Manitoba H20 Create program, Health Canada, and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to learn about future water focused academic programs, the quality of water in the Shoal Lake watershed area, and larger watershed issues in the Hudson Bay Watershed, respectively.

 

On Friday, each group shared their final digital stories with the Shoal Lake #39 Elementary School and participated in a water ceremony. We enjoyed a spring feast for lunch before heading to Winnipeg for our project celebration event at the Forks Market in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

At the Celebration event, the youth spoke about how they will celebrate their successes at home and showed the final videos to a room full of guests and project funders!

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The Water I <3 U project is coming to an end but the impacts it can have on our youth water leaders lives and their roles as water leaders has only just begun! Great job everyone and good luck!

Keep sharing how you <3 water, join the movement and live IFF!

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