Youth Initiative
Working collaboratively with youth in applied and engaged research, the Indigenous Leadership Initiative seeks to develop research and leadership skills while enhancing knowledge about the political legacies of colonization, Indigenous governance, and decolonization. This new Initiative is being developed with students and partners at the University of Manitoba, with support from the Canada Research Chairs program and the technological infrastructure of Mamawipawin. Participants will work collaboratively in developing and conducting community-driven research projects and in creating accessible community research products (websites, interactive videos, dramatizations). The initiative seeks to engage communities in dialogues pertaining to issues of (de)colonization, the future of the nation, governance, reconciliation of internal conflict and resurgence.  This project is developing alongside attempts to mobilize decolonization amongst youth in Hawaii and New Zealand. 

The Initiative seeks to develop Leadership supported by and facilitated through collaborative learning, group discussions, a reading group, and conversations with local, national and international Elders, leaders and scholars.  It is envisioned as a generative research project that will evolve organically based upon the interests and research taken up by student participants. Student research and training through this initiative will include the use of Mamawipawin facilities, research funds, and mentorship.  

As a research project, Dr. Ladner is interested in seeing how individuals (and possibly communities) frame and articulate (visions of) reconciliation, decolonization and resurgence. At the same time, this project seeks to address real issues rather than simply play with theory and big words. Among the real problems that Dr. Ladner hopes to address are the lack of knowledge of tradition, the capacity of today’s youth to operationalize tradition in leadership, the disconnect between academically trained youth and community knowledge/elders, the lack of knowledge of the treaty and matters such as governance and legal orders, the common disconnect between community and academic research and the lack of meaningful knowledge mobilization within communities.