Youth Reconciliation Leaders of Montréal

img_7899Chris Gismondi

Hello! My name is Chris, I’m a queer white qallunaaq Settler, first generation Canadian of Scottish and Italian descent, born and raised on Dish with One Spoon, Head of the Lake Treaty No. 14 Anishinaabek Mississauga, Haudensaunne, and Wendat territory. I am currently living and learning on unceeded Kanien’keha:ka territory in Montreal. I love working with CRE to mend gaps of knowledge and understanding between Settlers and Indigenous peoples. In the process we are also building relationships between peoples who rarely get to hear from one another. I am currently working towards a Masters in Canadian Art History, and I am a pole dancing/ circus arts instructor in my spare time.


Dakota Swiftwolfe

Hey! My names Dakota and this is going to be my second year being apart of the Montreal YRI team. I’m originally from Saskatchewan and belong to the Moosomin First Nation, which is on Treaty Six Territory, but I spent majority of my time in Saskatoon. I’m currently in my third year of studies at Concordia University, where I am majoring in Women’s Studies and minoring in First People’s Studies. What originally drew me to apply for the YRI program was the chance to grow my own leadership skills but going into my second year, my motive has definitely shifted. I believe that there is nothing but positive things that can come out of the partnerships/relationships created through CRE and the discussions that are sparked during our events. Reconciliation is a big word and often times it can be a difficult concept to talk about, but taking that first step towards respectful conversation is to create the opportunity to grow, unlearn/learn new things, and to share knowledge. There’s this quote by Audre Lorde about how it’s not our differences that divide us, it’s our inability to accept and celebrate those differences and that’s what I would like to try and embody into this YRI year: creating relations by finding a common understanding amongst our stories. Not only that, but there’s something healing about sharing your story and knowledge with others and I hope for the 2017/2018 YRI year that we can inspire other Indigenous youth to share their stories and knowledge too; maybe even be apart of the YRI next year.


 Karen Tutanuak

I am Karen Tutanuak, Inuk Women from Rankin Inlet, NU; currently living in Montreal for University.  My studies include but are not limited to learning about First Peoples Studies in the south.  I believe I know quite a bit about my Inuit History and our contemporary “issues”, but not knowing much about my friends down south…  This year, my goal would be to talk about reconciliation and decolonization; to help people understand more about the history of indigenous peoples all over Canada; but to focus on Montreal and this wonderful island filled with Haudenosaunee peoples!  This year will be the year to achieve this goal!

Qujannamiik, matna ; merci!