Mitch Bourbonniere volunteers with Mama Bear Clan, Got Bannock and Drag the Red. Mama Bear Clan walks the neighbourhood of North Point Douglas and Winnipeg’s Main Street spreading warmth, cheer and love through greeting Winnipeg’s homeless brothers and sisters with hugs , conversation and donations of clothing and food . Got Bannock serves the same community with twice a month outdoor gatherings where people in our village are fed, loved and looked after . Drag the Red spends countless hours on Winnipeg’s Red River searching for missing people . Mitch has joined others in adorning Winnipeg’s bridges with red cloth in the cold of winter to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls . Mitch also helped start a men’s healing group out of the North Point Douglas Women’s centre . Mitch works with Winnipeg’s most vulnerable people who suffer with homelessness , post traumatic stress , addiction, mental health issues, domestic violence, gang involvement , and sexual exploitation through the Ogijiita Pimatiswin Kinamatwin (OPK) , Whistling Winds Action Therapy programs and the Manitoba Youth Justice system . He visits the institutions and supports people as they leave prison and gang life. Mitch developed a program called Lateral Empathy where with groups of young volunteers, donations of clothing, food, furniture, household goods are picked up and delivered to those in need. They also volunteer at the First Nations pavilion at Folklorama , the Teddy Bears picnic, and many other worthy events .This group of young people also volunteer at Indigenous ceremonies all across southern Manitoba during Sundance season .
On September 7, 2014 Mitch diffused a situation by which a young man had drawn a handgun on another young man in a playground filled with children. On December 4, 2016 Mitch swam out into the not yet frozen waters of the river to help a girl out who had made a suicide attempt . Mitch was recognized in the Manitoba legislature for this as well as receiving the Royal Canadian Humane Association’s Bronze Medal for Bravery . Mitch was also recently awarded the Govenor General’s Meritorious Service Medal and the Winnipeg Police Service’s Honoured Citizen award in recognition of outstanding support and commitment to public safety.Mitch is a pipe carrier and a 28 year Sundancer . He provides Elder services to Urban Circle , Rossbrook House , Metis Child and Family Services , North Point Douglas Women’s Centre , Dakota Ojibway child and family services , Animikii Child and family services , CEDA Pathways , Ndinawe youth centre , and many other organizations. Mitch has a masters degree in social work and teaches at the universities of Manitoba, Winnipeg and St Boniface . Mitch is a social worker in the Louis Riel school division.
April 2019 - Governor General Award for Bravery
October 2018 - Manitoba Heroes
August 2018 - Vigor International, Spirit of the City Award
May 2018 - Resource Assistance for Youth (R.A.Y.), Community Champion Award
April 2018 - Honoured Citizen, Winnipeg Police Service, in recognition of outstanding support and commitment to public safety.
October 2017 - Govenor General of Canada, Her Majesty The Queen: Meritorious Service Medal
July 2017 - Royal Canadian Humane Association: Bronze Medal for Bravery
June 2017 - Wilfred Laurier University: Certificate of Committment and Support in the MSW Aboriginal Field of Study
May 2017 - Metis Child Servicing System: Certificate of Bravery
April 2017 - Gonzaga Middle School: Recognition and Inspiration Award