Tuesday August 11, 2015

Beating boredom in Winnipeg with Michael Champagne

Advocate and north end MC Michael Champagne is a founding member of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. (AYO)

Advocate and north end MC Michael Champagne is a founding member of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. (AYO) (Ian McCausland)

Listen 7:34

Michael Champagne runs in to bored indigenous youth in Winnipeg all the time.

He's a young Cree guy, a community organizer living in the city's North End and the founder of a group called Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO).

According to Michael, he never gets bored. But he's thought a lot about where that feeling comes from.

"The meaning of the word boredom, the definition I know is you're feeling weary, because you're unoccupied or lack interest in your current activity," he said.

"And if you're uninterested in your current activity, I have a strong recommendation… stop doing that activity." - Michael Champagne

Michael has extended an open invitation to youth in his community who feel like there's nothing to do - he sees it as an opportunity to help people make positive change for themselves, their family and the neighbourhood.  

He also worries.   

"I'm always afraid when I see young people that are bored… I get concerned for that person's well-being because there are a lot of temptations out there," he said.

Addiction opportunities, negative street opportunities and self-harm are a few that come to mind for him.  

"I'm afraid of all of those things every single day and that's what motivates me to continue moving forward because I believe our young people should never feel that."

To hear more from Michael's interview click the 'listen' button above.