Hi I’m Jaiden. I’m 16 years old and from Winnipeg.
This summer I worked in a high school mentorship program, and every Thursday we would come down to Assiniboine Park and meet with our coordinators, Anna, Lee, and Cate. Learning from them has been a great experience. They have brought in many different people to teach and show us ways of life as Indigenous Peoples.
Something that really stood out for me was learning what I was connected to. When you’re younger you may not feel as connected or may not know what you are connected with. So during this program, I figured out water is my source of happiness. In my view it’s not just water, it’s an escape from reality. Therefore my favourite place in Assiniboine Park was the duck pond because of the soothing water fountain, the reflection of the sun, and the ducks that spend most of their time there.
A certain time that I felt very connected to the land was not too long ago. A few days ago I went boating with my family. The sun had just gone down and the moon was starting to rise. It was bright orange just above the ground. I felt happy and really at home there with my family and in the water.
The land is kind of healing, it knows when it’s a hard time for you, it knows how to help and I’m very grateful for that.
This September I am going into grade 12 and finishing up high school, then moving onto university next year. I think this program was a great journey, I met so many new people, learned so much about my culture that I never knew, and got to enjoy being outside a lot of the time!
**All the youth participating in the Indigenous Youth Storytelling Program were a part of the Seven Oaks School Division summer mentorship program.
The Indigenous Youth Storytelling program is supported by The Conservation Trust through Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.