Hi my name is Darren “de” Brown. My culture is Jamaican however I identify with my “African” roots and ancestry as well. I was born in Toronto which I have come to learn was called “Tkranto” and that we reside on the Dish with One Spoon land treaty. I have had the privilege to attend both College, and University where I studied in the field of Youth Care and Counselling. I have passion for a variety of different forms of Indigenous arts and culture across the world with a desire to someday see them. During my studies I examined various common denominators that enabled and disabled First Nations and African Diaspora youth from creating, manifesting, and or perfecting their destiny, purpose, and direction through arts, culture, education and entrepreneurship. Hence why I decided to become a YRI ambassador. I bring to the position an array of recorded experiences in facilitating, counselling, community outreach, managing and programming development and my new found love for inspirational graphic design.
Hello, my name is Fatima Ammari. I was born and raised in Toronto. My parents are first generation immigrants. My mom is from the Philippines and my dad is from Algeria. I have lived on the Dish with One Spoon territory, and still do. I am currently a part of the YRI Toronto team with Canadian Roots Exchange. I joined the YRI team because I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about CRE, what they do and to take part in their reconciliation work. I am hoping to get a lot of new leadership experiences and opportunities to work with the organization. As well as working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Tansi! My name is Keisha Nadi-ann Erwin Roberts. Honoured to be a guest (settler) and to thrive on the Dish with One Spoon territory, a territory upon which many Indigenous Nations have been living since time immemorial including; Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat Nation, the Metis Nation, the Anishinabek Nation and most recently the Mississaugas of New Credit. I am of Nehiyaw (Cree First Nations) and Afro-Caribbean (Jamaican) ancestry. I aspired to be a youth reconciliation leader, because as someone who fits into multiple communities, I am very passionate about community building and being the bridge to overcome differences. I strive to educate myself and others about the colonial history of where we are, and about the contemporary expressions of colonialist policies, so that we can begin to comprehend how these impact the realities of Indigenous peoples on turtle island today. Reconciliation requires everyone to participate, focusing on healing in our communities, and a rebuilding of relationships between new-coming guests, non-Indigenous people, and Indigenous peoples. Educating the youth is a step along the way to dispelling the negative stereotypes and dismantling the oppressive systems that still hurt Indigenous people.
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.
Hello, Nihao, Aani! My name is Kennes Lin, and I am a proud immigrant Chinese-Canadian. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up living in Vancouver, Shanghai (China) and Mississauga (Ontario). I currently live in Toronto, Dish with One Spoon Territory, as a passionate youth outreach worker supporting marginalized immigrant youth with mental health challenges. After attending the CRE Manitoulin Island Exchange as a participant, I wanted to stay engaged and continue to learn about Indigenous history and culture in Canada, and specifically to act on reconciliation. I feel an obligation to act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples after witnessing the still standing residential schools and hearing real life residential school survivor stories. I am honoured to be part of the YRI this year, and I am dedicated to be a bridge in connecting non-Indigenous and Indigenous peers.