Michael Champagne (pictured) is just one of the mostly Aboriginal youth behind Meet Me at the Bell Tower. The group has received a Manitoba Human Rights Award. It will be given out at a ceremony next week on December 9th.
It’s a community-building initiative that has met weekly at Selkirk and Powers, an intersection in Winnipeg’s inner city, for the past four years. Champagne and other youth regularly speak out against the violence that plagues their neighbourhood. Ironically, Champagne was the victim of an assault just over a year ago.
Christie McLeod is also getting a human rights award. It’s for her work in publicizing the fact the Shoal Lake #40 First Nation has been under a boil water advisory for 17 years. All while being on the same lake the city of Winnipeg draws its drinking water from. She created the hashtag, #shoalidarity.