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Youth summit drawing in teens here this weekend

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Making decisions about using alcohol and drugs. Dealing with violence among peers. Deciding whether or not to have sex even though it can kill you.

Making a good name for teens in your community.

More than 40 youths from across the region will be getting together with local teens to discuss topics just like these when the United Native Friendship Centre’s Multicultural Youth Council holds the Northwestern Ontario Youth Summit here this weekend.

“It’s going well,” MYC president Erin McMahon said of their preparations.

But a lot of work still needs to be done. Organizers have to prepare to feed breakfast, lunch, and supper to their guests for three days, as well as make sure everything is in place for the six scheduled workshops and a dance Saturday night.

The summit is slated to being around 5 p.m. Friday with a supper, followed by introductions and an opening ceremony, featuring elders Helen Hunter and Gilbert Smith, traditional aboriginal drumming, and the “Lil’ Eagles” dancers.

Then the local rock band “Whitefire Reed” will play from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The conference really takes off Saturday when youths will be treated to several workshops, including:

•an HIV/AIDS workshop with health educator Angela Petsnick;

•a teen role modelling workshop by the UNFC’s Brad Herbert;

•a presentation on teen violence by family court worker Connie Peterson;

•a fetal alcohol syndrome seminar by Aboriginal Family Support worker Tracy Blasky;

•a youth fundraising workshop headed by UNFC executive director Sheila McMahon%

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