Youth Reconciliation Leaders of Toronto

toronto@canadianroots.ca

 

Brianne Dove

Hello! My name is Brianne Dove. I come from an immigrant family with mixed Afro-Caribbean, Indo-Caribbean and Indigenous Caribbean heritage in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. I was born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto) which is  Dish With One Spoon territory, and am thankful for those before me who made it possible for me to thrive on this land. I wanted to join the YRI because I felt that it was my responsibility as a settler on this land to make a contribution to decolonization efforts in the way I best knew how. I have an educational background in Digital Media, but also have quite a bit of youth leadership experience as well. As a disabled person, I also enjoy examining ways that technology can be used to manage communication barriers, something that can be a challenge when working with youth.

 

Diane Hill

She:koli! My name is Diane Hill, and I am from the Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nations community. I am from the bear clan, and my spirit name is Kayatuhe which means someone who writes. I currently reside in Tkaronto, dish with one spoon treaty territory and previously have resided in my home community. I joined the Tkaronto Youth Reconciliation Initiative because I was very interested in learning more about Canadian Roots Exchange overall. Previously I had attended the national youth conference in Winnipeg. This really inspired me to connect with youth across Turtle Island, and to build solidarity amongst various nations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous and made me feel like there was a vision and mandate I could contribute to. This work is especially important to me because it helps me to heal, educate and learn concurrently, and create a strong sense of cultural identity for myself. I aspire to be a role model and mentor for Indigenous youth and young people, and to be a community educator on our collective histories and people as a means to inspire change, hope, resiliency and decolonization. I am very passionate about advocating for my community and connecting with people in hopes to make meaningful reciprocal relationships with the qualities of peace, friendship and trust.

 

Ibnul Chowdhury

Hello! My name is Ibnul (or Kabya in Bengali). I was born in Bangladesh, but for the most part have lived in Tkranto and Mississauga. My participation in the youth reconciliation initiative relates to a growing awareness of my identity as a racialized settler colonizer and an interest in building solidarities with young Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks. I hope that through learning, education, and dialogue, I can play my part in the pursuit of resistance, liberation, and justice for all living on this land.

 

Kennes Lin

Hello, Nihao! My name is Kennes Lin, and I am a settler Chinese immigrant living in Canada. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up living in Vancouver, Shanghai (China) and Mississauga (Ontario). I currently live in tkaronto, Dish with One Spoon Territory, as a student of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Toronto with interest in a social justice approach to mental health. After attending the CRE Manitoulin Island Exchange and being YRI last year, I wanted to stay engaged and participate in decolonizing work with fellow peers in different walks of life. I feel an obligation to act in solidarity with Indigenous peers after witnessing the still standing residential schools and hearing real life residential school survivor stories. I am honoured to be part of the YRI again this year!

 

Khadija Waseem

My name is Khadija Waseem, and I am a Pakistani-Canadian who grew up in the Dish with One Spoon territory. I am a firm believer of standing in solidarity with indigenous folks  after the oppression they have faced for hundreds of years.

For Me, TYRI is an opportunity to focus on reconciliation, healing, dialogue and education between the indigenous and non indigenous peoples of turtle island. I am a student at Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto with a focus on socio-economic development in marginalized communities all across Canada. I am passionate about many social justice causes particularly mental health, the empowerment of Canadian indigenous communities, minorities, at-risk/marginalized youth, and women. Reconciliation requires everyone to be at the table for the rebuilding of indigenous and non indigenous ties, and our participation in TYRI does just that!

 

Lauren Madahbee

Hello, My name is Lauren Madahbee. I’m both Ojibwe and Portuguese, I was born and raised in Toronto but my family comes from Manitoulin Island and Azores, Portugal respectively. I’ve recently studied at Sheridan College for visual arts and will continue pursuing art in school. I joined YRI because I saw it as a great opportunity to develop my leadership and facilitation skills, as well as to meet and collaborate with other youth. This work is important to me because we need to heal the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. I want people to know the importance of our culture and share it with the community.

 

Tristan Smith

Hello! My name is Tristan I am mi’kmaq . I grew up  in cobourg, Ontario and now currently reside in tkaronto the dish with one spoon territory. I was drawn to Canadian roots exchange for the opportunity to create positive learning experiences outside of western academia and to share my own learning with like minded individuals. This work is important to me because it’s work that values perspective and challenges Canadian values.

 

Ysabel Tuason

Hi ! My name is Ysabel ! I was born in Manila, Philippines but grew up in tkaronto / GTA but most recently have called Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), the place at the end of the rapids, my home. Now that I’m back in tkaronto, I’m excited to be a part of the tYRI and to build relationships with this community. There are many reasons as to why I joined the tYRI and have been trying to unpack what it means to be part of reconciliation in a meaningful way as I am curious and feel obligated as a settler to be a part of making positive change in the face of ongoing settler-colonialism. I’m also currently in school for social service work, in the immigrants and refugees stream and do migrant justice solidarity work. I also like to watch reality tv, silly viral videos and go camping.

 

Summer Catt

 

Jo Jo Kruger