Moffat Siyayi Makuto
Chair, Finance and Fundraising CommitteeLocation: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Organization: The Multicultural Youth Centre
Moffat Makuto has worked with the Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC) since it was formed in 1985 as a legacy of the United Nations International Youth Year to link and provide a voice for young people across Northwestern Ontario. He went on to establish the Multicultural Youth Centre in Thunder Bay in 1990 to provide a safe space for children and youth to hang-out, have fun, support each other, and access resources, supports, advise and information to help them make wise choices and responsible decisions.
Moffat has mobilized young people from different racial backgrounds and sexual orientation to respect each other and learn to get along. From his experience working with new immigrants and refugees to help them settle in the region, he initiated reception and orientation sessions for First Nations students moving from remote northern reserves to attend school in large diverse urban schools who need assistance to deal with culture shock and support to integrate into a new social environment. The Multicultural Youth Centre has since been invited to set a sub-office in Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School in the city, and involve the students in planning and organizing extra-curricular activities to enhance their wellness, safety, and graduation. He trains young leaders to use a youth-to-youth approach to engage their peers and use positive influence to make a difference. He believes in empowering the youth to be involved in the decision-making process, and be part on the solution to the problems they face.