The powerful and engaging work that Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training and Native Child and Family Services do with urban Aboriginal youth was in the spotlight on Sept. 13 for the second Prince’s Seeing is Believing community tour. PSiB was launched by HRH Prince Charles more than two decades ago as a practical means to engage senior business leaders, and their corporations, with high-performing community organizations. The goal is to create mutually beneficial relationships to address critical social issues. In Canada, PSiB is a project of Prince’s Charities Canada, and the Wellesley Institute provides operational support as part of our mandate to create and sustain healthy and equitable communities. This is the second PSiB community tour with a focus on youth engagement, education, training and employment – and future visits are planned for Western Canada, Atlantic Canada and Toronto over the next year.
The Sept. 13 visit was lead by Janice O’Born, CEO of The Printing House Charitable Office and included 11 senior business and political leaders. A central feature of the PSiB day are one-on-one encounters between youth and CEOs that allow the business leaders to gain insights into the issues and challenges facing youth, and to hear their aspirations and goals. Front-line staff from the two organizations provided details on how the two innovative and successful Aboriginal-led groups support youth in responding to those challenges. The day included a traditional opening and closing with an Elder, a drum circle and a focus on Aboriginal culture as a critical component in the lives of Aboriginal people. During the PSiB, the senior business leaders and their corporations are challenged to identify ways that they can engage in socially-responsible business practices that will have a practical and positive impact on the lives of youth – ranging from internships and mentoring to hiring practices and social enterprise support.