Mr. Marshall Morrisseau, a 2020 Youth Forum member, has demonstrated the importance of working for the betterment of the community through his talent and commitment. Marshall is a young professional who has been working for over a year for the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, a leading health agency for First Nations in Canada.
He was involved in a project aimed to develop a life support toolkit created by Indigenous youth for Indigenous communities. A six-month project in which Marshall dedicated his diligence, energy, and time with a wonderful result. He was assisted by 5 Indigenous youth from Canada with experience in life support. Marshall organised, guided, and supported these young people over the course of 6 months in developing the toolkit, “Strengthening our Connections to Promote Life”.
Thunderbird met with Indigenous youth to start the conversation and focus on their needs. The big change was to shift the paradigm: instead of focusing on the negative, they wanted to focus on how to live a good life. The toolkit directs youth to focus on their strengths to overcome hardships that they may face, as it was developed in response to high suicide rates, challenging life experiences, and problematic drug use in Indigenous communities, particularly among youth. It promotes the creation of safe spaces where one feels physically and emotionally safe, the nurturing of mental health, keeping a healthy lifestyle, and engaging with mentors and peers for inter-personal support.
It is a life enhancement toolkit and prevention resource that engages individuals and communities holistically, in four different ways: Connection to Spirit, Connection to Land, Connection to Community, and Connection to Self. The guide provides activities and information to build these connections and live well.
Be inspired and follow this link to familiarise yourself with the toolkit.
Prevention isn’t so far off from some of the key messages of the toolkit: we strive to nurture mental health, reinforce protective and resilience factors against drug use, keep a healthy lifestyle, and sustain a good support network of peers and mentors around us.
Thank you, Marshall, for sharing your story with us.
Made possible with the support of the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta