Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

WASAC Welcomes Washington

  • Print
Point Douglas MLA Kevin Chief and Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer recently visited the WASAC camp, where they were inspired by the can-do attitude of camp-goers.

SUPPLIED PHOTO Enlarge Image

Point Douglas MLA Kevin Chief and Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer recently visited the WASAC camp, where they were inspired by the can-do attitude of camp-goers. Photo Store

Recently, I was honoured to be invited back to tour the Winnipeg Aboriginal Achievement Centre’s (WASAC) Summer Kids Camp along with Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States and former NDP Premier of Manitoba, and his wife Ginny Devine to help highlight WASAC’s stories of success.

It was exciting to see kids arrive by bus for their first day of camp, hear the energizing music and look at all the bright orange T-shirts of camp leaders welcoming participants from North End Schools like Norquay and Machray. All these scenes brought back memories of my time as executive director of WASAC, experiences that helped prepare me to become an MLA and Manitoba’s first-ever Minister of Children and Youth Opportunities.

Camp leaders Melissa St. Mars and Sterling Muskego led us around the camp at the Old Ex Arena. The week-long experience focuses on sport, recreational, and cultural activities and is offered at no cost to Aboriginal children who otherwise couldn’t afford to go.  

The camp promotes summer learning which helps prepare students to re-enter school in September. By providing mentorship, training and role models, campers gain important skills as they grow into camp leaders. WASAC hosts over 1,500 participants each summer and has assisted in the development of over 800 youth leaders since the program started in 1999.  

WASAC’s stories of success are created by providing enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom — after school, during the weekends and in the summer months. We know this approach increases academic achievement, graduation rates and engages the broader community in activities for young people.

As we ended our tour, Ambassador Doer, Ginny Devine and I were presented with special dream catchers thanking us for our visit to the camp and square dancers performed a special "Washington Jig" in their honour.

It was great to have the opportunity to speak to the kids and share the idea that anything is possible if they stay in school and work hard. Over 200 camp participants and youth leaders shouted the Obama-style message, "Yes, we can!". to their guests.  

"They make you very proud of their can-do attitude," said Ambassador Doer, who promised to deliver their message to President Obama. 

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

This Just In Twitter bird

Readers‘ Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

Make your choice in the Canstar Community News‘ Best of Winnipeg Readers‘ Choice Awards

Vote Now

Poll

Do you think cameras should be allowed in Manitoba courtrooms?

View Results

View Related Story