Welcome to the Link | formerly Macdonald Youth Services

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Indigenous Initiatives

The Indigenous Initiatives team, led by a Knowledge Keeper, works across the organization connecting youth, families, staff and community members to the skills, knowledge, traditional languages, experiences and land-based practices central to the healing journey for Indigenous families and critical to shaping a child’s identity and sense of belonging.

In the 94 Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls for all Indigenous children and youth to receive culturally appropriate, community-grounded placements and support. Although we are a non-lndigenous organization, over 80 per cent of the youth we serve are Indigenous. It is our responsibility to ensure we facilitate culturally appropriate healing practices for those impacted by ongoing colonial trauma. Research and literature demonstrate healing for Indigenous youth must be culturally specific and cultural restorative practice is the foundation for breaking cultural stress for our clients. We acknowledge this is an essential part of their healing journey.

Programming and activities are offered monthly or weekly and some practices are embedded into our daily routines at The Link. The land-based activities being offered in Winnipeg and Thompson promote belonging, mastery and confidence. Our youth and families, staff and community members were all welcome and encouraged to participate in the following:

  • Beading and Language
  • Drum and Rattle Making and Drumming
  • Fishing
  • Full Moon Ceremonies
  • Medicine Picking and Teachings
  • Name Ceremonies
  • Ribbon Skirt and Shirt Making
  • Sun Dance Ceremonies
  • Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
  • And many More Events