Inspiring Success - Focused on developing youth as leaders
Kluane Adamek focused on developing youth as leaders
By Shari Narine
Kluane Adamek wants to build young leaders.
She plans to use what she’s learned to support community building in the north as she works toward her master degree in business administration at Simon Fraser University.
“Supporting community building through inspiration and innovation is how I feel I can contribute and working with young emerging leaders, as well,” said Adamek, who lives in Whitehorse.
The $2,000 she received through Cando’s National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation scholarship fall 2016 made that possible.
“That’s why the scholarship was helpful for me. I travel down to Vancouver usually about every six weeks to do my course work and then I come back to Whitehorse and I do my assignments from here,” she said. “I’m really grateful to have had the scholarship. It really helped me out this year.”
The NIEEF scholarship was one of three scholarships Adamek received. The external funding was necessary as she wasn’t full funded by her band, the Kluane First Nation, of the Southern Tutchone and Tlingit.
She has just completed her first year of the two-and-a-half year long program.
Working with youth in the Yukon is a task that Adamek already has plenty of experience with. She founded Our Voices, which is a northern Indigenous emerging leaders organization, and still volunteers there. She was a fellow with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, where her research focused on youth engagement. She also instructs a course on leadership, land claims and self-government at the Yukon College.
“I’m still really actively involved with young people in the north,” she said.
Along with her school work and volunteerism, Adamek works full time. She is an advisor to Pauline Frost, minister of health, environment and housing. Adamek also worked as an advisor to former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.
“I would like to continue to support the community building in the north, whether that be through building young leaders to economic develop to community infrastructure. I don’t really see myself having a specific role,” she said.
Adamek does, however, think that down the road she may get involved in politics, but right now she isn’t willing to take on that pressure.
“I’m good with being kind of on the periphery and being strategic and providing advice and guidance as needed,” she said.
Adamek says culture is important to her. She is part of a traditional dance group that has performed both nationally and internationally. She also tries to get out on the land as much as possible, even though Whitehorse is her home right now.