Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck:
Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to pay tribute to the eight remarkable Indigenous youth who are participating in the fourth edition of the Youth Indigenize the Senate program today.
This program brings young communities leaders from across the country to Ottawa so they can testify as witnesses at the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.
The eighth youth are:
First, Christine Luza has roots in the M’Chigeeng First Nation in Ontario and lives and works in Toronto where she sits on the steering committee of Naadmaagit Ki Group, an organization that aims to improve the health of urban Indigenous families.
Second, Trevor Dubois is a two-spirited individual originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who sits on multiple boards at the local and provincial levels. Trevor holds a degree in Indigenous social work and works with stakeholders to create programs and partnerships with a goal of addressing barriers and systemic injustices faced by marginalized groups in the community.
Third, Jukipa Kotierk is a proud Inuk woman originally from Igloolik, Nunavut but now lives and works in Iqaluit for the Quality of Life Secretariat with the Government of Nunavut. She hopes to build connections and expand resources to ensure Inuit have the same opportunities as other Canadians.
Fourth, Aurora Leddy is a proud Metis woman who grew up in Edmonton, where she devotes her time to teaching Metis jigging classes and visiting schools to teach youth about Metis culture.
Fifth, Richard Lush is from Prince Edward Island where he coaches and manages four football clubs, teaches songs for a youth drumming group and works with the Music is Alive program, which organizes school visits to teach young people about the importance of traditional and nontraditional music.
Sixth is Taylor Morriseau, a proud member of the Peguis First Nation and now lives in Niverville. She is a PhD student at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. In 2018, she was awarded a Vanier Canada graduate scholarship to reveal how a prominent genetic variant in Anishininiiwuk youth influences youth-onset type 2 diabetes and how traditional diets may attenuate diabetes development.
Seventh is Karlee Johnson, who is a fluent Mi’kmaq speaker who believes that embracing one’s Indigenous language and culture is a key to success. She lives in the Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia where she applies the bachelor of medical sciences she earned last year from Dalhousie University to her work as capacity development lead for cancer learning with the local tribal council, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians.
Eighth is Megan Hébert-Lefebvre, a youth cultural officer of Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki in Wôlinak and Odanak in Quebec near her region of Saint-Maurice. She develops digital media and teaches graphic design to 12 to 24-year-olds for Niona, a digital production company that promotes Indigenous culture.
Colleagues, we have a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn from these remarkable youth leaders. Thank you.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.