Winnipeg students plan for next 150 years ahead of Canada's anniversary
150&Me to bring thousands of youth together in 2017
Teenagers from across Canada will be gathering in Winnipeg next year to discuss the future of the country.
Leading up to Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017, Experiences Canada has created the Canada 150&Me project which will host four regional exchanges across the country, including in Winnipeg.
"It's a real opportunity to mark this milestone not just by looking at how far Canada has come, but this is an opportunity for the youth to tell us where they would like the country to go in the future," Deborah Morrison, CEO and president of Experiences Canada, said.
Morrison said this is a generation that is very much engaged in the issues.
"They have the tools, the technologies, and the networks, to really take a look at this country in ways that we have not," she said. "This project is all about giving the opportunity to do just that."
The youth will be gathering onsite and online next April and May, including at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Students will stay with host families and explore the city's history as well as working with not-for-profit organizations.
The event was launched at the University of Winnipeg Collegiate on Monday where students are already preparing for the event.
"I believe taking time to reflect is the only way to make positive change," history teacher Jennifer Janzen said in a release.
"This 150th remembrance is important for youth to contemplate issues such as the environment, diversity and Canada's place in the world. It's the young people that have the biggest stake in the future and their ideas and voices must be heard."
Sophie Smith-Dostmohamed is one of the students participating with a spoken word and film project. She said her goal is raise awareness around the continuing struggle for women's rights.
"We still get paid 7.5 per cent less than men on average in Canada. We still don't see very many political figures that are women in Canadian government. Even though it's changing, it's not changing fast enough," she said.
She said the youth have the opportunity to make a change for Canada.
After the regional forums, 150 students will be chosen to travel to Ottawa the week before Canada Day 2017 to meet with government, community and business leaders.