Winnipeg conference aims to change indigenous stereotypes
'Bridging the Gap' brings together indigenous and non-indigenous youth from across the country
Young people from across Canada are in Winnipeg working towards bridging the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
The three day conference is organized by Canada Roots Exchange.
Genaille said she is looking forward to meeting others and learn about their experiences with stereotypes and racism.
"It's not a good feeling when you walk into a store and people look at you right away and think you have items in your pocket or follow you around the store," she said.
She hopes the conference will teach her ways to change people's views of aboriginal people.
The youth will hear from each other in panel discussions, listen to keynote speakers like Michael Champagne, founder of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) and take part in workshops.
"All of the workshops are led by youth," said Vibhor Garg, executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange. "We have things like looking at how do we break down stereotypes and create dialogue through spoken word and hip hop."
He said there are also sessions on parenting, indigenous history, deconstructing stereotypes and building bridges between newcomers and indigenous people.
Garg says the conference couldn't come at a better time, following the Maclean's magazine article that called Winnipeg the most racist city in Canada.
Winnipeg's Mayor Brian Bowman welcomed the delegates and talked about how he is working to bridge the gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous population.
"People are people everywhere, doesn't matter if they are indigenous or not. We all want what is best for ourselves and for future generations," said Bowman.
While in Winnipeg, they will also visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Louis Riel's grave in St. Boniface.