Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak to survey First Nations youths on needs during COVID crisis

All Northern Manitoba First Nations youths can now take a survey by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. to determine their needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

To be conducted until until March 16, the survey seeks to gain insights on potential programs MKO can develop to support the youth from First Nation communities in Northern Manitoba as the pandemic continues.

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“Children and youth have shown a lot of resilience during this difficult time, and as leaders, it is important we acknowledge the strain this pandemic has had on our young people,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee during the survey launch March 2.

“Ages 12 to 18 are the demographic that somehow seems to be forgotten, but that is something we want to address.”

Settee noted that solutions are often laid upon youths without their input on the matter. MKO wants to empower them through the findings of the survey.

Survey results on the youths’ concerns and needs will be used to inform the next steps in the development of the organization’s child and youth mental wellness strategy.

“We want to let them know that they are not alone and that there are people who are listening to them and care for them,” said Settee. The survey can be accessed online at It is also available for downloading and printing on MKO’s website.

When the survey ends, gift cards worth $50 each will be distributed at random to 10 lucky youths who complete the survey. The winners will be chosen through a draw.

Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the government of Canada. 

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