Building Strength in the Future of LCO
By Nicole Smith
On Wednesday, October 24th the Gwayako-Bimaadziwin and the Makizin Pathways Program held their monthly feast together.
The Gwayko-Bimaadiziwin program has been growing over the past year, and the Makizin Pathways Program has just begun recently. The program directors of both programs decided to hold their monthly feast together. Rusty Barber who is one of the mentors for both programs came to speak about the important use of asemaa (tobacco).
Both programs aim to connect young men from the LCO community with the Ojibwe culture and help them develop strong viable relationships with healthy male role models by teaching them to not only value the Ojibwe culture but to learn to value themselves.
The Makizin Pathways Program seeks to reduce truancy and delinquency issues among the LCO youth boys ranging from ages 10 to 17. This is a four-year project that will implement Ojibwe cultural teachings with male mentors from the LCO Community. The Gwayako-Bimaadiziwin is a three-year grant that offers a mentorship program for young men ages 18-24. Nicole Smith is the program director for the Makizin Pathways Program, LuAnn Kolumbus is the Gwayako-Bimaadiziwin Director and Jason Martin is the activities coordinator for the Gwayako-Bimaadiziwin Program.