Event seeks young First Nation leaders

One of the biggest First Nation youth gatherings in Yukon's history will be held next week.

One of the biggest First Nation youth gatherings in Yukon’s history will be held next week.

Over 100 youth, speakers and facilitators from around the territory and northern British Columbia will converge at Brooks Brook near Teslin from Aug. 7 to 10 for Our Voices: Yukon First Nations Emerging Leaders Gathering.

The three-day gathering will feature workshops, activities and games designed to help youth ages 14 to 30 develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of healthy living and community building.

The event is being hosted by the Yukon Indigenous Emerging Leaders.

Nineteen-year-old Shaheen Baker, from Pelly Crossing, was so excited about attending she also rounded up about 10 of her friends.

“I understand it’s a big event because my cousin and other friends around the Yukon have been talking about it,” she said.

“It’s important to get the youth together, it’s very empowering. I’m really looking forward to the elder storytelling too.”

After the event, she hopes to go back to her community with a renewed optimism on life and would like to see more youth gatherings taking place, she said.

Kluane Adamek, the event’s co-chair, said planning started after organizers identified a deep need for young people to feel connected and supported that wasn’t being fulfilled in the territory.

“When a group of us began teleconferencing and talking about bringing people together, we recognized we had all lost young people in our communities,” she said.

“We wanted to look at what we could do to support young people and how we could bring them together. This is one of the first huge gatherings for Yukon’s First Nations youth.”

One of the priorities for the organizers was to focus on the connection to the land in whatever they were planning, which is why they decided to have the event near Teslin Lake.

Inspired by a similar gathering held in the Northwest Territories, the organizers set out to find former leaders and invite them to share their experiences in self-government and land claims.

Some of the special guests include Wab Kinew, Jeff Copnance, Victoria Fred, Mikah Fox and Andy Niemen.

“It’s a great opportunity for young people to learn and hear from these people,” Adamek said.

“The driving energy behind all this is that young people will come and see they can put something together like this in their own community. It’ll help them realize they can become actively involved in a number of ways.”

Adamek, a member of the Kluane First Nation and a Jane Glassco Northern Fellow, is using the gathering as part of her research on youth engagement and public policy. “There is a notion that these youth are the leaders of tomorrow but really you see a lot of them becoming leaders in their communities right now,” she said.

“It’s really important, and part of continuing the legacy of First Nations people, that the focus is on them being leaders right now.”

Participant registration closes today, and the group is still looking for sponsors. Visit the event’s page on Facebook for details.

Contact Myles Dolphin at myles@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on January 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Parking problems predicted

Zoning amendment would create more on-street parking issues, residents say

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18.	(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

Most Read