With coordinator Candace Brunette at its helm, Western’s Indigenous Services has been named the recipient of the 2013 London Diversity, Race Relations and Inclusivity Award presented by the City of London. The award recognizes its longstanding Indigenous youth outreach programming.
“We are honoured and thrilled to be selected to receive this award. It will bring some attention to important outreach efforts that have been underway in Western’s Indigenous Services for many years now,” Brunette said.
“Our outreach programs make a real difference in the lives of the Aboriginal youth who participate in the program as well as the Aboriginal university students who work as leaders in the program every summer. We are collectively very proud.”
Since 2006, Indigenous Services has offered innovative outreach programs on campus to more than 500 Indigenous youth (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) from across Canada. Their programming, like the Mini University Program, aims to increase Indigenous youth access to postsecondary education. The Mini University Program, a one-week learning opportunity for Indigenous youth ages 12-16, exposes youth to student mentors, academic program options and student life by living in residence on-campus.
“We are dedicated to continuing outreach programs in the future. It’s extremely rewarding to work with our young people they inspire us in do many ways and they are our future,” Brunette added.
“University partners have been extremely supportive.”
Brunette noted a special thanks is owed to Amanda Aikens, youth outreach coordinator, who played a key role in coordinating the program in summer 2013.