We are excited to announce our speakers lineup for this year's Indigenous Youth in Action BC. Over four days, we're bringing together some incredible presenters to impart wisdom, share some skills, and inspire.
This year, we welcome as guests and facilitators:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, who is currently serving his 5th 3-year term as President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. He also serves as chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. He served as Chief of the Penticton Indian Band for 14 years. In 2006, the Okanagan Nation presented him the honourable title of Grand Chief in recognition of his lifetime devotion to the defense of Indigenous peoples' title and rights.
sχɬemtəna:t, St’agid Jaad, Audrey Siegl, an independent activist from the unceded lands of the Musqueam. She has been active on grassroots environmental and social justice-political frontline movements. Audrey has worked on raising awareness on MMIW, Downtown Eastside issues including housing, the Fentanyl crisis, and displacement. She has worked to highlight the connections between extractive industry projects and violations of First Nations, land and human rights.
Shane Pointe, proud member of the Point family and equally proud member of the Coast Salish Nation. As a member of the Musqueam Indian Band, Shane uses his knowledge of language, culture and ceremony to help his family, community and many others from around the world to come to a balance. Shane's motto is "Nutsamaht." (We are one.)Read more
Next Up Calgary has wrapped it’s 7th year. There were 18 participants this year, in a program that was supported by about 40 grad volunteers and 28 guest presenters over the course of 38 sessions. This year also marked the fifth Community Connection, which saw 60 participants attending 10 workshops, 12 marketplace of ideas presentations and a fantastic lunch in a full day of strengthening networks and growing conversations about transforming Calgary.
I am very grateful to Arielle, Charlene, Chloe, Emily, Holly, Jacie, Katie, Khalil, Krystal, Lindsay, Lise, Litia, Meghan, Nicole, Nina, Tara and Thana for their committed participation, co-education, vulnerability, trust, good humour and hope. Thank you everyone for jumping into the river of change and celebrating the journey.
PS - there are exciting format and programming adjustments in the planning for cohort 8. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) before July 14 to express your interest in helping facilitate and guide these plans.
PPS - The application deadline for Calgary Cohort 8 is September 22, at 11 pm. Interviews will be on Sunday, Sept 30, between 10 am and 3 pm. The link to the application and the entire call out package will be online towards the end of July. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Elizabeth Campbell (NU Edmonton 2014-15) has been working as a coordinator for Decarbonize, "The world's largest synthesis of youth research, recommended policy & action on Climate Change." The University of Alberta Daily News recently interviewed her about how she came to lead a team of youth representatives from high schools from 14 countries who synthesized their research and made recommendations at COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2016. Elizabeth says that she doesn't necessarily see herself as leader, but more of a facilitator who encourages young people to take leadership themselves. “They all could be [world leaders]. We want these students to think about the bigger picture and realize that they are leaders and they can influence change.”
As an Indigenous woman occupying space in Treaty 1 Territory and the Homelands of the Metis Nation where neither is my kin or bloodline . . . often I have felt displaced. My blood memory is from that of Northwest Territories (Dene Nation,) and White sands/Sagamock from Ontario (Anishinabek Nation,) and I have lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the greater part of my life.
Over the period of the last 9 months and now graduating as a Next Up alumni, I feel as if I have found a kinship network that is intricate to my belonging in this territory. Social Justice advocates are a one-of-a-kind community, and sometimes when I had been living in different communities other than Winnipeg, they are like finding needles in a haystack. Next Up gathers talented and hard working social, environmental, and leadership advocates in a group setting where we learn to project change in society for the betterment of the communities we come from.
The youth are from such different communities. For example if you look at me, an Indigenous community advocate, any one of my colleagues in the program could be a food security advocate, a mental health advocate, or a LGBTQ advocate. Even though we have different causes we stand up for, with the growth of our relationship through the program, now we stand up for one another in unison, which makes a more unified voice within the community with different skills that I believe will impact greater change in the years to come! I came to this program recently integrating into Winnipeg, after moving, and I was ready to create a community for myself. I never felt displaced with these vibrant young people and mentors because they always take the first step forward in being a good ally, community member, and future nation builders. The skills learned, the issues presented, and the concepts of change theory will challenge all of us to keep pushing each other, and also the work that we do, for the rest of our lives. With the change created by past alumni, I am excited to contribute to our growing networks’ initiatives, in the future and beyond.
Tyra Cox, Next Up Winnipeg 2016-2017
To read more about Tyra, her volunteer projects, and her work as an Indigenous Community Projects and Initiatives Coordinator for the City of Winnipeg, you can find her bio here, on our website.
Next Up Edmonton 8 wrapped up the year with a fun and heartfelt ceremony on May 17th. We were joined by friends and family of the participants, alumni, presenters, Advisory Committee members, and funders. It was an excellent opportunity to connect as a community and come together to support the new cohort as they made the shift from participants to alumni.
The 2016-2017 cohort marks the 10th anniversary of Next Up in Vancouver. After seven months of in-depth conversations, diverse workshops, and thought-provoking speakers, the NUBC 10 cohort has hopefully built long-lasting relationships and picked up some useful tools that be carried out into their own work.
Recent graduate of Next Up Ottawa, Gloria Song, posed the question, "what does a musician look like?" in a poignant piece for Ottawa Beat, a local arts newspaper. Written and published during Asian Heritage Month, Gloria's article explores her own experience as a racialized woman and frontwoman of the indie-rock band Scary Bear Soundtrack. Gloria also offers a list of ten Ottawa-based acts featuring musicians of Asian descent that you should check out!
The fifth round of Ottawa's Next Up program has come to a close. The fifteen participants received their certificates of completion after mapping out their journey throughout the program over the last seven months.
Graduates of Next Up Saskatoon's 2016-17 cohort shared the skills they learned in the program through four stations - one for each season - at their graduation on May 6. The participants based their graduation format and presentations on the teachings of Elder Marjorie Beaucage who led the first session of the year: A Medicine Wheel for the Indian Act. In Marjorie's session in late-October, participants sat based on the season in which they were born. They learned about the gifts that those born in each season can offer to social change work and they learned about colonial history in Canada and reflected on their own ancestry and stories and their understandings of the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The graduates modeled their graduation after these teachings and shared what they had learned in their six weekends of programming at four stations. They held a scavenger hunt to encourage people to read the information at the stations and there were also activities at each station. They capped off the night with snacks and a sundae bar.
Next Up Regina celebrated its first ever graduation on April 28th! Graduates shared information about what they learned, thanked presenters, funders and advisory members, and then enjoyed a slideshow and some karaoke, concluding the night with a beautiful rendition of What a Wonderful World. The Regina cohort spent six weekends together between November and April. For two of those weekends, they joined up with the Saskatoon cohort which many participants said was one of the highlights of the year!