Youth Indigenize the Senate

Speech from the Throne

Speech from the ThroneOttawa – An inspiring group of young Indigenous leaders will contribute their perspectives to a study of the Aboriginal Peoples Committee on June 7, 2017, as part of the “Youth Indigenize the Senate” initiative.

On this day, the committee will open the doors of the Senate to engage youth in their study on how to forge a new relationship between Canada and First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

After receiving more than 100 nominations from communities across the country during a public process launched in April, members of the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples selected 10 nominees as the 2017 Indigenous Youth Leaders at the Senate.

These young leaders have been invited to Ottawa to explain the impact of their work in their communities, be recognized for their accomplishments as agents for change, and have their voice heard during a special committee hearing dedicated to the important role of youth in improving relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The selected nominees are:

  • Andrea Andersen, 25, Makkovik, Nunatsiavut (now resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut)
  • Jacquelyn Cardinal, 26, Treaty 8 Territory, Alta. (now resides in Edmonton, Alta.)
  • Perry Kootenhayoo, 30, Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, Alta. (now resides in Edmonton, Alta.)
  • Modeste McKenzie, 22, La Ronge, Sask. (now resides in Northern Village of Air Ronge, Sask.)
  • Tiffany Monkman, 30, Winnipeg, Man.
  • Jennifer O’Bomsawin, 22, Odanak, Que.
  • Valerie Ooshag, 20, Thunder Bay, Ont. (now resides in Eebametoong First Nation, Ont.)
  • Stephen Puskas, 34, Yellowknife, N.W.T. (now resides in Montreal, Que.)
  • Holly Jane Sock, 26, Elsipogtog First Nation, N.B. (now resides in Tobique First Nation)
  • Chris Tait, 25, Gitxsan Nation, B.C. (now resides in Vancouver, B.C.)

The committee looks forward to welcoming this dynamic and diverse group of young leaders in June.

“This group of young people represents the future not only of Indigenous peoples in Canada, but of Canada itself. We are honoured to have them and humbled by their inspiring accomplishments at such young ages,” says Senator Lillian Eva Dyck, Chair of the committee.

“Every one of these young people is doing amazing work. It is our privilege to draw Canadians’ attention to their accomplishments and provide a platform for their important messages to be heard so we all can learn from their example,” states Senator Dennis Patterson, Deputy Chair of the committee.

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