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  • Raising Awareness Workshop

    Raising Awareness

    This section of workshops explores raising awareness on a variety of different human rights needs in our communities. It includes looking at ability and inclusion, explores colonization and resilience as well as a discussion on newcomer and immigrant populations. There are two workshops that look at gender and consent as well as looking at poverty and homelessness in Manitoba.


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    This workshop will explore the social and medical models of disability and the ways in which language can embolden different ideas. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the power of words, stereotyping and fear of difference. 

    A brief history of discrimination towards persons with disabilities is explained, highlighting the resistance of various communities. In addition, experiences of persons with disabilities will be included through film clips that feature community members sharing their stories. By exploring difference through activities guided by empathy and open-mindedness, participants are empowered to challenge ableism when they see it.

    This workshop is a three-part series. Each workshop will focus on a specific element of the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The first workshop explores the traditions, worldviews, and social organization of the First Peoples in Canada. Participants will learn about traditional gatherings, languages, ceremonies, and lifestyles of Indigenous Peoples. 

    The second workshop will explore the role of colonizers upon their arrival to Canada. Participants will learn about the resistance of Indigenous Peoples to generations of assimilative and genocidal government policies. This workshop allows for a critical introduction to colonialism, human rights, and the continued resistance by Indigenous peoples in Canada. Topics include The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, The Indian Act, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Common stereotypes and misunderstandings about Indigenous Peoples in Canada will be investigated, and the workshop will conclude with a discussion about one’s individual responsibility to decolonization. The final workshop will include an overview and discussion on the 94 Calls to Action for all Canadians.

    **Note: workshops are designed to be a series and such, prerequisites for each subsequent workshop. These workshops are developed with themes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in mind.

    This workshop will explore the various spectrums that contribute to our identity formation (gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and biological sex), while discussing how socially constructed ideals can influence these identities. Participants will draw the connection between 2SLGBTTQ* rights and human rights through an exploration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Definitions of common 2SLGBTTQ* terms will be discussed, as well as the ways in which discrimination exists and can be confronted.

    This workshop explores what consent means and provides participants with a clear and concise definition to work with. Participants will learn what their rights are as agents under the Criminal Code, how these rights have changed, and how to use these protections to their advantage. Participants will consider the social implications of this conversation about consent and be encouraged to reflect on how they might change their own actions. Finally, they will gain an understanding of gender-based violence and the social structures that underpin today’s troublesome culture. Participants finish the workshop by challenging myths about consent and sexual assault in Canada.

    **Note: this workshop draws connections with the Manitoba Social Studies curricula’s analysis of legal and human rights pertaining to youth. In addition, this workshop effectively enhances the Health Education curriculum surrounding human sexuality and relationships. Understanding the meaning of consent will be emphasized, as well as how to respectfully seek it from others.

    In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to think critically about newcomers in Canada. Participants will understand the differences between refugees and immigrants as well as the nuances of Canadian citizenship. They will have the opportunity to reflect on how they personally fit into the history of immigration in Canada as well as debunk myths and misconceptions. 

    The United Nations recognizes more than 20 million refugees worldwide; with unprecedented numbers of people facing forced migration, participants will analyze factors that contribute to a migration crisis. Participants will also examine the challenges that newcomers may face when they arrive in Canada. Finally, participants will exercise compassion for refugees by considering the difficulty of fleeing from their homes and explore the idea of global citizenship.

    **Note: this workshop is a helpful addition to classroom discussions already taking place surrounding multiculturalism and diversity in Canada. Students will be able to draw connections to topics on Canadian history, legal systems, and responsibility to upholding human rights.

    In this workshop, participants will learn about the different forms of violence and nonviolence. Participants will engage in activities that critically examine violence in our communities. They will also explore the right to protest, various challenges experienced by activists, and discuss ethical dilemmas in activism.

    This workshop will explore the fundamentals of mental health. Participants will learn from Indigenous traditions that are rooted in balance and wellness. Participants will also learn the basics of human rights principles and the history of mental health as a human right. Lastly, participants will explore mental health in Canada, the effects of COVID-19, and solutions for approaching mental health through a human rights-based approach.

    In this workshop, participants will learn about the history of poverty in the context of Manitoba. They will unpack systemic and social determinants of poverty and examine how they are interrelated. Different types of poverty will be explored, and participants will be encouraged to reflect and think critically about how poverty happens. 

    Participating in various empathy-building activities, participants will unlearn common misconceptions and stereotypes about those who experience poverty and are unhoused. Ultimately, participants will critically explore solutions to poverty in Manitoba and will be encouraged to take action in their communities.

    In this workbook participants will explore histories and impacts of the Residential School System and other colonial policies. Throughout the workbook, participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and identify the colonial injustices as perpetrated throughout Canada. Participants will explore the importance of community members in shaping their identity. Participants will also learn about the many forms of resistance that Indigenous peoples’ have engaged in to preserve culture, community, and tradition. Each participant will create a personal action plan for reconciliation.