The Council was formed as a follow-up to the special activities organized by the Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario (MANWO) in 1985 to mark the International Youth Year. The Council's success can be attributed to a youth-to-youth approach to reach out to peers. This approach engages children and youth, giving them a voice to reach out to their peers and use positive influence to make a difference. Youth from all backgrounds make up the Council's board of directors who run the Council's affairs.
The Multicultural Association of Northwestern Ontario (MANWO) is a regional umbrella organization for multicultural groups and ethnocultural communities in Northwestern Ontario. The association serves to link small isolated communities across the region and promote the concept of multiculturalism. The idea of forming MANWO came from recommendations by delegates at the first Northwestern Ontario Regional Multicultural Conference held in Thunder Bay in February, 1979. A Steering Committee set up the blue-print for a regional multicultural network, and drafted the constitution. The first Board Members were elected in April 1980, and MANWO was formally registered as a corporate organization in November, 1981.
MANWO's mission is to achieve a fair and just society with equal opportunity, equal access, and equal participation by all citizens in every aspect of Canadian life by removing artificial barriers, and promoting acceptance of all people.
The association's objectives can be summarized as follows:
a) To promote the concept of multiculturalism throughout Northwestern Ontario, and develop appropriate resource materials to complement the same.
b) To provide settlement services that facilitate the cultural integration of new immigrants and refugees into the Canadian mainstream.
c) To sensitize communities on the benefits of cultural diversity, enhance awareness of the contributions that foster appreciation of our rich heritage.
d) To act as the chief advocate on behalf of multicultural and ethno-cultural groups in the region, and work for positive changes to improve our well-being.
e) To preserve cultural freedom and promote a national identity for all Canadians.
f) To reach out to the youth, empower them to deal with the challenges of living in a multicultural society and encourage them to get along.
g) To work with communities, institutions and ethno-cultural groups to promote harmonious relations, equality, fairness and justice for all Canadians.
h) To support and strengthen ethno-cultural groups for self-reliance and encourage them to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian society.
The Multicultural Youth Centre (MYC) was established in 1992 to serve as the Regional Multicultural Youth Council’s head office. After ten years in Victoriaville Mall, the Youth Centre was forced to move because we lost our funding from bingo revenues after the Thunder Bay Casino opened downtown. The Centre is presently located at 511 E. Victoria Avenue (corner of Victoria Avenue and Brodie Street).
The Multicultural Youth Centre provides a variety of services and resource materials for children and youth. It serves as a drop-in for youths who want information, friendship, advice, counselling or just a safe place to hang out. There are computers, audio-visual equipment, a vending machine and other office equipment students can use for school work, assignments or to prepare resumes. Tutors are provided for those who need help with homework. Internet access is free, and the youth can watch movies, sing karaoke, organize talent shows, and other fun activities.
Students can use the facility after hours for meetings, study groups, to plan events, for sharing circles, workshops, concerts and other social gatherings.
Please feel free to drop-by and check us out!