My spirit name is Wasoowaag Nogoosetwey which means Flower Belonging to the Sun in Mi’kmaw, and I belong to the Crow clan. My grandparents Herbert Christmas and Gail Gabriel are Black-Scotian and Mi’kmaw from Digby/Bear River First Nation and Springhill Nova Scotia. I currently live on unceded and unsurrended Algonquin Territory in Ottawa, Ontario, where I work for the Native Women’s Association of Canada as the Youth Advocate. I also attend Laurentian University online for Indigenous Studies with a minor in Indigenous Health and Wellness. In order for there to be unity, it is so important that reconciliation be done in an honest and respectful way. This is why I believe youth are the leaders of today and can take the lead on reconciliation initiatives that will promote love and kindness, bringing all people who live on Turtle Island together.
Hello! Bonjour! My name is Cameron Jette, I identify as a settler, and I was born and raised on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory in Ottawa. This work is important to me, because as a settler it is my duty to lift up the voices of the Indigenous people in my community and around Turtle Island. I will be working with the Ottawa/Gatineau team to educate and build bridges between the people in our community. I hope to educate other settlers on the history of colonization and oppression the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have faced. I am very much looking forward to the months ahead. Thank you! Merci!
Aanii, boozhoo, Dani ndizhnikaaz, Neyaashiinigmiing ndoonibaa, n’gig ndodem. I come from Neyaashiinigmiing Unceded Anishinaabekiing and I’m from the Otter clan. I am Ojibwe and Algonquin and live on the unceded territory of my people, the Algonquin nation in Ottawa. I’m a second year General Arts and Science student with a concentration in Aboriginal Studies at Algonquin College. As an intergenerational survivor, it’s extremely important to me to work towards reconciliation through education and community building. This will be my third year of YRI and I’m super grateful for all the opportunities that have been passed my way through this work.
Selam! My name is Rim Zeghai. I am a proud Eritrean, who cares very much about my family, friends and the spirits of others. I am currently studying Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University and hope to become a lawyer. I was fortunate to be a part of a CRE exchange with Kuujjuaq two years ago, it was a life-changing experience that allowed me to heal, learn and unlearn, and make new friendships. I’ve been called to this youth leader position because my passion/purpose is to help others. Along with my wish of removing the label “minority”, that Indigenous peoples have because it’s an ugly word that makes a group of people feel small and of lesser value. Which is unjust because not only is this Indigenous peoples land but no essence of their being, nor way of life is inferior to anything. So that is why, through my position and as an ally, I hope to bring about many eureka’s (ah-ha moments) through open dialogue, workshops, and various events. Education is key, and by decolonizing education and working hard, I am committed to making some change in this world.