Youth Reconciliation Leaders of Edmonton

edmonton@canadianroots.ca

 

Veronica Fuentes

Veronica Fuentes

Aaniin, Niltze. My name is Veronica Fuentes. I currently reside on amiskwaciwâskahikan, otherwise known as Edmonton, Treaty 6 Territory. I am Saulteaux and Nahua. My ancestry is tied to Treaty 4, Yellow Quill Saskatchewan and Cuzcatlan, otherwise known as El Salvador. I am a first year University Student at the University of Alberta, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts In Indigenous Studies. I am a firm enthusiast of DIY and community building, and have modelled my work in my local arts community as such. My indigeneity stretches across manmade borders that continue to divide and disrupt Indigenous peoples. I combat my diaspora by building relationships between both my Indigenous identities through the similar experiences, stories and teachings of my people in Central America and my peoples of the prairie. The more I get to know my ancestors, the more of myself I put into my community, and my activism, the more I understand my own significance in Indigenous resurgence. Thus, the more I am inspired to be a leader and educator in the “reconciliation” conversation.

Kelsey Kliparchuk

Kelsey Kliparchuk

Hello! Hola! My name is Kelsey Kliparchuk and I am a first generation Canadian with roots in Chile and Europe. I currently live on unceded Treaty 6 territory aka Amiskwacîwâskahikan aka Edmonton. This is the land my family immigrated to after being forced to leave their home countries. My heart has always been with this land and because of that I feel deep reverence for the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and beyond. To me, reconciliation must occur in a respectful and compassionate way. As a spoken word artist and singer with a passion to share the story of spirit, however it chooses to express itself, I have experienced the power of the voice. I believe creative expression can be a catalyst for radical social change. We, as youth, hold mighty power to awaken ancestral wisdom to heal deep wounds in our society. I am honoured to be an ally for the Amiskwacîwâskahikan(Edmonton) Youth Initiative and look forward to the journey ahead.

Aurora Leddy

Aurora Leddy

Aura Leddy is Métis with her family being from St Albert and the Lac St Anne areas. She adores reading, dragons, Métis Jigging and paddling. Currently, Aura is studying for her bachelor of arts at MacEwan University in Edmonton Alberta while hosting drop in jigging class on the side. This is Aura’s second year with YRI and she hopes to continue the work her team started last year.

Brittney Pastion

Brittney Pastion

Dah’ nih’ te’h, Abawashded, Tansi, my name is Brittney Pastion, I am of the Dene Tha’, Woodland Cree and Nakota Sioux ancestry. I am registered with the Treaty No. 6 of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, by way of the Treaty No. 8 the Dene Tha’Nation and the Bigstone Cree Nation. Initially, I didn’t grow up surrounded by my traditional culture; I grew up Catholic. Itwasn’t until my teen years that I answered my calling to live a traditional lifestyle by entering the pow-wow circle as a jingle dress dancer. It was that very decision to dance that I had started my journey to enrich my life spiritually. I am a strong believer in paring traditional knowledge with formal education. In 2016, I graduated from the broadcasting program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. It is never too late to go back home to your ancestors ways of knowing and with my story I promote that reconciliation is possible if you are willing to devote yourself to the ceremonial lifestyle and are open to educating those around you.

Boyd Whiskeyjack

Boyd Whiskeyjack

Tân’si. My name is Boyd Whiskeyjack. I am Plains Cree and a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6 territory, northern Alberta. I am in my second year of the Bachelor of Native Studies (Cree Major)/ Bachelor of Education (Secondary Route – English Major) combined degree program at the University of Alberta. I applied for the Youth Reconciliation Initiative because it offers the chance to make a real difference in the lives of youth, which has always been my forté. Youth are the future and since I was young it has always been a vision of mine to become a leader of tomorrow. Now that’s become a reality I wish to help the next generation of youth to become leaders.