Feathers of Hope

Child Welfare Forum (2015)

The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth held a forum focused on the Indigenous young people’s lived experiences within the child welfare system: Thus becoming known as Feathers of Hope Child Welfare. The child welfare forum was created based off a recommendation from youth in the Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Action Plan. The forum took place on May 19-23, 2015, approximately 100 young people from northern and remote communities attended the forum. The forum took place at the Best Western Nor’ Wester Hotel & Conference Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The purpose of the forum was to create a platform for the young people to share their lived experiences, amplify their authentic voice and create opportunities for change within the child welfare system for this ge...

Letter from the Youth Amplifiers – Justice and Juries Report (2016)

Letter from the Youth Amplifiers Feathers of Hope Justice and Juries: A First Nations Youth Action Plan on Juries (2016) Feathers of Hope began its journey back in 2010. The Provincial Advocate’s Office, working with the Chiefs of Ontario and a number of Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities, hosted two small gatherings with Aboriginal youth. The first took place in Toronto in October 2010, and the second in July 2011 in Thunder Bay. The Office then hired the first Youth Amplifiers, and in partnership with the Inter-Governmental Network and Nishnawbe Aski Nation planned the first of what has now been three Feathers of Hope youth forums in Thunder Bay since March 2013. Since then, things have moved so quickly. In November 2014, we hosted and planned the Justice and Juries youth forum and have b...

Feathers of Hope – Justice and Juries (2014) Forum

In November 2014, Feathers of Hope: Justice and Juries took place in Thunder Bay, ON. It was a second forum that the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth hosted, but it was a special edition. In First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries, Justice Frank Iacobucci included the importance of youth voice in Recommendation #7. “With Respect to First Nations youth, in addition to having a youth member on the Implementation Committee, the Implementation Committee should request that the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth facilitate a conference of representative youth members from First Nations reserve to focus on specific issues in the relationship between youth, juries and the justice system, addressed in this report. The Provincial Advocate for Children and Yout...

Letter from the Amplifiers – 2014

Letter from the Youth Amplifiers Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan, 2014 We are pleased to present Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan. It reflects nineteen months of planning and work including a five youth forum in Thunder Bay, a three day youth gathering in Kashechewan/Ft. Albany, visits with youth in northern First Nations communities in Ontario, speaking engagements across the country, media interviews and more sleepless nights than we can count. Most importantly, these months of travel, discussion and listening sessions confirmed we are not alone in wanting to change the conditions of hopelessness and poverty faced by First Nations people in Northern Ontario. When we applied to be Youth Amplifiers with the Office of the Provincial Advocate for childr...

Letter from the Advocate – Irwin Elman – 2014

Message from Irwin Elman The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan   In March 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Feathers of Hope Youth Forum hosted by my office and organized by my Community Development team and hard-working, dedicated and passionate First Nations young people. The event was also developed in partnership with Health Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, the Thunder Bay Suicide Task Force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Northern Ontario. Over the course of five days, we brought together more than 100 youth from 62 Northern First Nations communities to share their ...

Feathers of Hope – Forum Structures

Feathers of Hope’s approach is youth driven and culturally anchored throughout the whole process. The First Nations youth forums that are hosted by the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth can be broken down into five main pillars: Inspire, Safety, Community, and Teach. The fifth pillar is Play, which is incorporated in all areas of our movement. Inspire Feathers of Hope aims to inspire First Nations young people to have hope, as well as to raise their voices in creating change for improvement in their lives and their communities. Safety Feathers of Hope aims to create a safe space for First Nations young people to connect to their experiences, each other, and community supports. It also aims to create a safe space for young people to advocate for change and to dream. At the forums w...

Forum Structure – Behind the Scenes at Feathers of Hope

Feathers of Hope forums are compiled with many different components that create a constructive and interactive experience. Below is a breakdown of what most FOH forums include. Overview of Feathers of Hope forum: Welcome Event It is important to gather the young people on the first day to welcome and provide an introduction. This is important to lay the foundation for the forum, but also to create a safe and comfortable space. The welcome event also provides entertainment, introduces support staff while allowing the young people to mingle. Home Groups Home groups are designed to create a secure base for the young people with a consistent and small group of their peers. The home group structure is to have 8-12 participants per group, depending how large the forum attendance is. You mix the ...

A Brief History of Feathers of Hope

In 1996, the Horizons of Hope Report was released by Nishnawbe Aski Nation. This report was based on the work of First Nations young people. Thirty-eight recommendations by the Commissioners of the report were made to address the issues of youth suicide in First Nations communities. Three years later, the Coroner’s Office released a report documenting 41 recommendations to address issues that led to the death of Selena Sakanee, a 15-year-old girl from Neskantaga First Nation. From this report, the Intergovernmental Network on Nishnawbe Children & Youth was formed. It is a partnership of different Provincial Ministries, Federal Departments, and First Nations organizations to address the issue of suicide within First Nations communities. In 2009, the advocate’s office began an outr...

Feathers of Hope Attend AFN youth summit

“More than 500 First Nations youth aged 18-35 from across the country attended the Assembly of First Nations’ (AFN) 4th youth summit from Nov.18-21 in Saskatoon to develop a five-year action plan for change and progress to address their priorities. Among them were members of the Thunder Bay-based youth group Feathers of Hope (FOH), who were invited by AFN to attend this year’s summit.” http://www.wawataynews.ca/politics/feathers-hope-attend-afn-youth-summit

Canada’s justice system is failing Aboriginal youth and their communities, Feathers of Hope report concludes

“Intimidating, foreign, unjust and discriminating are just some of the words used by youth to describe the relationship between Aboriginal people and the justice system, according to a new report by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. Feathers of Hope, Justice and Juries: a First Nations Youth Action Plan for Justice captures the voices of young people from across Aboriginal communities in Ontario, and was released in simultaneous events held on Parliament Hill and at the Ontario Legislative Assembly.” http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadas-justice-system-is-failing-aboriginal-youth-and-their-communities-feathers-of-hope-report-concludes-571247921.html

Feathers of Hope

“First Nations Youth Action Plan will be released today and we chat with an author and First Nations Leader.” http://www.cbc.ca/superiormorning/episodes/2014/02/24/feathers-of-hope-2/

Feathers of Hope – Jury Representation

“A conference brought over a hundred young First Nations people to Thunder Bay wraps up today and what they had to say about Justice in this province.” http://www.cbc.ca/superiormorning/episodes/2014/11/20/feathers-of-hope—jury-representation/

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