In early May, Pembina Trails was proud to host our second Student Voice Unite forum for the 2018-19 school year.
Student Voice Unite is a divisional student leadership development program that was established in 2017. Our Board of Trustees enthusiastically supported the idea and is pleased to see young people participate year after year in a forum led by students, for students.
May’s theme, We Are All Treaty People – Belonging, provided students from grade 6 to 12 with engaging learning opportunities, including a blanket activity, stories and drumming, and the Seven Sacred Teachings. Throughout the day students had the chance to share their views, listen to different perspectives, understand and respect diversity and, ultimately, to build community.
Students also had the exciting opportunity to hear from Business Council of Manitoba’s vice-president and former, MLA Kevin Chief. “It is important that we understand that diversity is not automatically positive,” he told the group. “We have to do work to make sure that it is positive, that it unites us. That we come together like we are doing here today.”
The group was inspired by Chief’s message and motivated to go out and continue doing the work that it takes to come together and make a positive change.
Lateefah Alli, a grade 7 student at Arthur A. Leach, shared how important the forums are to her, “I learn something new, and every year after this forum something changes in me,” she said. “I felt like a person that can change something in my community or even in the world.”
Speaking of making positive change, five students from the Student Voice Unite group recently attended the Manitoba Education Review student consultation and had the opportunity to share their perspectives directly with the committee. We are proud of these students and their enthusiasm to share their voices.