• Two students study together inside Migizii Agamik.
  • The Neechiwaken Peer Mentor Program matches new Indigenous University of Manitoba students, known as Neechiwaken, with experienced Indigenous students, known as Lead Neechiwaken, who act as mentors, providing academic and social support and ongoing advice. It is open to Indigenous students in any year of study.

    The program provides members with social, academic and cultural development, peer-to-peer support, activities to support community building and personal growth and the opportunity to be a Neechiwaken, or friend, in the Cree language.

    It is offered in partnership with the Indigenous Student Centre and Student Life.

Lead Neechiwaken (our mentors)

A Lead Neechiwaken is the experienced student in the peer-mentoring relationship who is willing to participate in the reciprocal process of sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise to facilitate a new student's transition into university life and help build their leadership skills.

To become a Lead Neechiwaken, you must:

  • be an Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) UM student in good standing (a 2.5+ GPA is recommended)
  • have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours
  • be available for monthly meetings
  • be willing to commit to communicating regularly with your assigned student
  • attend a training session (see dates on application form)
  • be interested in campus and community volunteering events

All Lead Neechiwaken are interviewed before being matched with a new student. We invite you to apply early.

The Mentor application is closed. Please check back in August 2021.

Neechiwaken (our new students)

A Neechiwaken is the less-experienced student in the peer-mentoring relationship who is willing to participate and assist in the reciprocal process of sharing knowledge, skills and expertise to build their own leadership skills with the opportunity to become a Lead Neechiwaken in the future.

To become a Neechiwaken, you must:

  • be an Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) UM student interested in having a peer mentor for the year (September to April)
  • be available for monthly meetings
  • be willing to commit to communicating regularly with their peer mentor
  • be interested in campus and community volunteering events

We invite you to get support and build skills in your first year.

What students say about the peer mentorship program

"I love this program. It is a simple, beautiful, holistic approach to creating an instant community of friends, which means a space where we're all welcome and we can feel comfortable. University really requires us to rise to the challenge and having someone in our corner who can offer support when it gets hard, because it will, is incredibly important. We are strong together."

- Charlene Hallett, Family Social Sciences, Lead Neechiwaken

"I enjoyed attending Neechiwaken's monthly activities. They provided a break from studies and time to connect with others. It encouraged me to attend other events and activities at Migizii Agamik, which I may not have otherwise. This program has improved my experience at university and has provided great support during my first year." 

- Kyle Wiebe, Fine Arts

"When I first started at the University of Manitoba I was terrified because there were so many students. Joining the program helped me to make connections with other students who felt the same way, which in turn made campus life less intimidating. Since then I have made many new friends. It also gave me the opportunity to volunteer at various events throughout campus and in the community [that has been beneficial to me] as a social worker."

- Maxine Boulanger, B.S.W. 2017, former Neechiwakento long-term Lead Neechiwaken

Supporting first year Indigenous student success

The Qualico Bridge to Success program nurtures the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional strengths of Indigenous students so they can be as successful as possible in their first year of study. 

New Indigenous students are welcome to consider any of the program’s opportunities. There is no cost to participate.

Learn more about the Qualico Bridge to Success Program

Contact us

Carla Loewen
Indigenous student centre advisor
Migizii Agamik - Bald Eagle Lodge
114 Sidney Smith Street
University of Manitoba  (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M6 Canada

204-291-5257
204-275-3142