Two delegations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) youth represented NAN First Nations nationally and internationally at events in Ottawa and Australia this week.
“NAN youth are leading the way, with one delegation meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada while another engages with Indigenous leaders half a world away. These young leaders will bring powerful messages to political leaders at home and abroad, and we are pleased to support these opportunities for their voices to be heard,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
A delegation of seven youth aged 16-24 from across NAN territory are traveling to Perth, Australia to attend the Second National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, and the Second World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference this week. The delegation, named Wiicihiitowin: Youth Crossing the Waters to Help One Another, will share their experiences and develop solutions to promote resiliency in Indigenous youth.
“I look forward to learning different ways to help our youth within our remote First Nations because many of us are struggling to have hope, especially because of the effects of drugs and alcohol. We need to find solutions,” said Kyra Metatawabin, of Fort Albany First Nation.
For the third consecutive year, a group of 21 youth met directly with the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of Cabinet, Parliament and the Senate this week to discuss challenges they face in their communities and their lives.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am honoured to attend with the other amazing youth. I am very excited to be able to share the youth perspective with federal leaders in Ottawa,” said Ashley Dawn Bach, of Mishkeegogamang First Nation and NAN’s Oshkaatisak (All Young People's) Council.
The topics that were brought up during the meeting were:
Need for a federal funded northern child advocate
Clean drinking water