Award-winning Voices of Youth Project Identifies Supports Needed by First Nations Youth
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse, on behalf of the Executive Council, congratulates NAN’s Oshkaatisak (All Young People’s) Council and the Regional Multicultural Youth Council for their award-winning Voices of Youth project recognized by the City of Thunder Bay last night.
“Miigwetch and congratulations to these young leaders for their outstanding work to improve the lives of young people across the region. The leadership they have demonstrated is an inspiration to young people across our Nations,” said Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse. “Voices of Youth is an inspiring project that allows young people to express their concerns and needs. Is encouraging to see young people come together to support each other, and we join with municipal officials to celebrate their accomplishments.”
Voices of Youth 2023 was developed as a collaboration between the Oshkaatisak Council and Regional Multicultural Youth Council to help address issues identified by youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to connect with students who have left school before graduation.
By identifying barriers and challenges that hinder their progress, this unique project created safe spaces for young people to share experiences and identify the supports they need to succeed. Youth council members visited several First Nations communities in the traditional territories of Treaty No. 9 and the Robinson Superior Treaty.
Youth involved in the project have identified needs in many areas, including:
- more after-school activities including recreation and cultural events;
- stronger support systems from education faculty and advocates; and
- better access to mental health and addictions supports.
Findings will be shared with area school bords, Indigenous organizations, and other stakeholders to help them better understand how to support Indigenous students.
The Voices of Youth project received the Mayor’s Community Safety Award for Outstanding Community Project during Mondy’s council meeting.
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