Girl's Death Sparks Aboriginal Mentoring Program in Manitoba

Wednesday, July 28 2010

CBC News, WINNIPEG, Apr 27 2006 - A new mentoring program aims to help disadvantaged aboriginal girls find inspiration by pairing them up with successful aboriginal role models.

Empowering Our Little Sisters is set to launch in May and hopes to provide mentors for 100 native girls this year.

Michelle Boivin started planning the program last fall, after hearing news of the suspected suicide of an 11-year-old native girl in Winnipeg last October.

Boivin says the program will help girls envision a better life for themselves by teaming them with role models they can relate to.

"I want them to dream big. I want them to realize what capable, beautiful, amazing individuals they are," Boivin told CBC News. "I really think we can just open their eyes to the world of possibilities and opportunities."

Empowering Our Little Sisters is sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, an aboriginal organization.

Boivin says the mainstream Big Sisters program doesn't meet the needs of the aboriginal community.

"I think it helps when a young girl sees somebody who talks like them, looks like them, who's had similar life experiences," said Boivin.

"I think that's what we have to share with these young girls."

(Source, AboriNews,

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