Our offices are located on the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the beautiful homeland of the Métis Nation.

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The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) is here to make sure the voices of young people are heard. We make sure their rights are respected and that they have a say in decisions that affect their lives. We advocate, investigate, and review public services in Manitoba to ensure they are meeting the needs of children, youth, and young adults.

Advocacy is at the heart of all activities conducted by the office of the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth.

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Recent News

2707, 2021

Youth Ambassador Advisory Squad unveils The Re-Right Project, with first of 42 murals dedicated to children’s rights  

MEDIA RELEASE 

WINNIPEG, TREATY ONE TERRITORY, HOME OF THE METIS NATION – The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth’s Youth Ambassador Advisory Squad (YAAS!) has revealed the first of 42 planned murals dedicated to children’s rights, all of which will be located throughout Manitoba.

For more than a year, YAAS! has been hard at work developing The Re-Right Project. This youth-led initiative will see 42 murals go up around the province, with each mural depicting a specific child’s right as laid out under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). YAAS! hopes the project will lead to more public awareness about child and youth rights.

“I think a mural catches your eye quicker. You’re choosing to look at it because it’s pretty and it’ll educate anyone who looks at it,” said Sophia Stang, who co-led the project for YAAS!.

YAAS! is a group of youth ages 14-22, who were brought together through the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth office. The group aims to amplify youth voices in the province and ensure youth perspectives are being heard at decision-making tables. The Re-Right Project was an idea brought forward by a young artist, who participated in YAAS!.

“It’s important for youth to lead their own projects and have a say in what they’re doing because, after all, it’s more rewarding and gives us experience,” said Rose Fontaine, one of the YAAS! project co-leads. (more…)

2506, 2021

Breaking the Cycle: An Update on the Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Manitoba Youth Custody Facilities

Since our 2019 report, Learning from Nelson Mandela, the Manitoba Advocate has closely monitored the use of segregation and solitary confinement in Manitoba youth custody facilities. This special report found that solitary confinement continues.

We found that in 2020, a higher proportion of youth in custody were subjected to solitary confinement (1-14 days at a time) and prolonged solitary confinement (15 days and longer at a time) and for longer periods of time than in 2019. Higher rates of segregation reflect the additional COVID-19 pandemic protocols that require all youth to be isolated for 14 days upon admission.

Concerningly, conditions of segregation are similar whether youth are being isolated due to safety concerns or because of public health measures. Our analysis details that most youth segregated were identified as male and as Indigenous. More than sixty per cent had known mental health challenges. This report highlights the voices of youth who experienced segregation and the experiences of senior-level staff at Manitoba Justice, all of who say more mental health and cultural supports are needed inside youth custody facilities. The Manitoba Advocate again calls for an end to solitary confinement of youth over 24 hours, changes in the law to further restrict segregation under 24 hours, and for investments in trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate care for youth in custody.

Read the report
Read the news release

306, 2021

Statement from the Acting Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth honouring the 215 children found at the former Kamloops residential school as we mark the second anniversary of the final MMIWG2S Inquiry report

Children's shoes lined the steps of the legislature earlier this week.

Children’s shoes lined the steps of the Manitoba legislature on May 31, 2021.

June 3, 2021

“Waking up last week to hear the news that bodies of 215 Indigenous children had been discovered in an unmarked grave on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School has unleashed a wrenching sadness within. I want to express my profound sorrow and grief – and that of MACY staff – over this enormous loss and offer condolences to the families involved, as well as Tk’emlups te Secwépmc First Nation. Once again, we witness another example of the genocide committed against children and their families, the original Peoples of these lands.

Earlier this week, I stood with the Knowledge Keeper from our office, Cheryl Alexander, at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature in grief with community and survivors. We went to honour and give gifts, offer tobacco, and to witness the display of children’s shoes that are placed on the steps of the legislature.

There, I was also reminded of the many Indigenous-led organizations, survivors, and community leaders who are actively working towards healing and community building.

The effects of residential schools and colonialism are not only historical. Indigenous children and youth in Manitoba continue to receive inequitable services from provincial and federal governments and continue to die disproportionately due to structural inequalities. This is harm that we see daily in our work, and for some of us, in our families and communities.

(more…)

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