2019 Youth Role Models
The National Youth Panel will be brought forth in an effort to showcase Indigenous youth. Each year Cando selects six Indigenous youth participants to form the National Youth Panel, a signature event at the Annual National Conference. The selections for the National Youth Panel are based on their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit, and participation within their communities.
Congratulations to 2019 National Youth Panelists!
Canoe Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan
Alexandra Jarrett is a young Indigenous woman from Eagles Lake First Nation & Canoe Lake Cree First Nation. Alexandra was born in Meadow Lake, SK, and currently resides in Saskatoon, SK. Alexandra owns and operates Axis Imagery, a creative photography, and multi digital services company. Her work ranges from portrait photography, graphic design, website design, videography, digital branding strategy and youth workshops. Alexandra was apart of the 2017 Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Mentorship Circle. Alexandra is the 2019 first place winner in the Indigenous Youth Idea Challenge hosted by University of Saskatchewan Enactus and won numerous scholarships during University in 2009. Apart from Axis Imagery, Alexandra is a member of the Saskatoon Indigenous Poets Society, and helped start the group on Facebook “Protect our People”, to provide a safe communication space, resources for human trafficking victims and survivors.
Canoe Lake Cree First Nation, Saskatchewan
Aubrey-Anne Laura Laliberte-Pewapisconias is a 20-year old Cree woman from Treaty 10 Territory with Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and Treaty 6 Territory with Little Pine First Nation. She is a third-year commerce student at the University of Saskatchewan currently pursuing a major in Finance at Edwards School of Business. One day she hopes to move on to get a Charted Financial Analyst designation or a Master’s in Business Administration. Aside from school, Aubrey is involved in her community as a Communications Director on the Edwards Business Students' Society, a Not-For-Profit delegate on JDC West and the founder of the Indigenous Business Students' Society. Aubrey is also a part of the Study Abroad Program and will be studying at the University of Essex this upcoming year. Previously, Aubrey worked in the Procurement department at SIGA as a summer student and moved into the role of Procurement Clerk afterwards. Now, she is exercising doing the things she loves with community relations as Corporate Affairs Summer Student.
Sucker Creek First Nation, Alberta
Nipawi Mahihkan Misit Kakinoosit is a Nehiyaw (Cree) from the Sucker Creek Frist Nation in Northern Alberta and was born and raised in Prince George, BC. He is also an adopted member of Musqueam Indian Band (Coast Salish) and Elsipogtog First Nation (Mi’kmaq). He is the Co-Founder and Former Provincial Spokesperson of Idle No More BC and has done extensive work in BC and Canada around: Indigenous and Treaty Rights Advocacy; Community Organising; Palestinian and Middle East Solidarity Advocacy Work; and Environmental Advocacy/Protection as a Nehiyaw Okitcitaw Okimawsis (Cree Warrior Lieutenant). ‘’ I had seen people in my networks talking about CANDO and the youth panel for quite some time now. Until recently, I didn’t have a good understanding of what the Youth Panel was and what CANDO represented. Having said that, after attending the CANDO Economic Development Youth Summit 2019, where my team one first place in the Group Case Study portion and I won Most Outstanding Male Youth Delegate 2019. I feel that I not only have a great understanding of CANDO, as an organization, but also what they idea is behind the Youth Panel. It is a unique opportunity for Indigenous Youth Leaders to get to meet industry and business leaders from all over. It is an opportunity for the Indigenous Community to celebrate those youth who strive to make this a better place for the future generations. But I feel the greatest idea behind this panel is to support and strengthen those who are chosen to be part of the panel. One of my close friends and colleagues, Carl Archie, whom I met at this years Youth Summit, talked to me about his experience on the panel and encouraged myself and others to apply. Keith Matthew had also encouraged me to apply for the Youth Panel and he is a leader I look up to here in the BC Indigenous Leadership Community. I feel this would be an amazing opportunity for not only myself, but for my community. One of the big reasons for me attending the Economic Development Youth Summit was because my nation, Sucker Creek First Nation, is currently working on developing lands we designated a year ago. It would be a great way for me to learn about the process and how we can best maximise the potential for the space and the nation, in a good way.’’
Okanagan Indian Band, British Columbia
Ryan Oliverius is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon, British Columbia. Ryan is the youngest member on council for the Okanagan Indian Band. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and is the first in his family to graduate from post-secondary. Ryan double majored in Marketing and New Venture while at TRU. The creative aspect of marketing has always fascinated him as well as the financial freedom entrepreneurship has to offer. After University, Ryan started a business called Salish Steel Metal Art. In the first few months of starting the business, Ryan received many requests for orders. The business is currently running however, Ryan has taken a break to focus on council and other passions. Ryan first became a member of Cando when he became a Ch’nook Scholar through the Sauder School of Business at UBC. As a Ch’nook Scholar, Ryan was able to network with industry professionals and a larger community of Indigenous students. The leadership skills and business knowledge Ryan gained from the program has helped him immensely in his career today. Ryan is also an active leader and role model in his community, so he lives a healthy and sober lifestyle. Ryan engages in sweat lodge ceremonies, stick games, hunting, gathering, and Nselxcin (Okanagan-Interior Salish language). He is also a well-known champion Prairie Chicken dancer on the powwow trail.
Carry the Kettle Nakoda First Nation, Saskatchewan
“I am 28 years old and am from Carry the Kettle First Nation. I want to become a strong role model for today’s First Nation Youth and share my story that First Nation Youth can be anything that they set their minds to.’’ Destinee is the current owner and operator of Tangles Hair and Beauty Salon. Tangles is a full-service Hair and Beauty Salon. She has a full line of hair and beauty products to address every clients’ needs. She started doing her own accounting to pay all bills and track all revenue and also did her own payroll and made sure all deductions and taxes were submitted on time, but since she has expanded, she now contracts all accounting services. Destinee is responsible for 7 female employees and make schedules for adequate coverage for Tangles. Four are First Nation, one is Metis and 2 are Non-First Nation. Destinee has a very strong work ethic and has been working steadily since grade 11. She loves dealing with the public as they ensure that every workday is a different work day. Destinee had aspirations of expanding her customer service skills and entered Avant-Garde College. She then worked briefly at Millennium Hair Studio, in Moose Jaw, which gave her an inside look at the Hair & Beauty Salon. She then moved back to Regina and began working at Tangles Hair & Beauty Salon in February of 2011. She continued to take classes in the cosmetology area and became a Red Seal Journey Person in 2012. Destinee’s boss at Tangles approached me and asked me if she wanted to purchase the business as she was the busiest stylist at the time. She was only 21, and in October 2013 was the proud new owner of Tangles Hair & Beauty Salon at the age of 22.
Alderville First Nation, Ontario
Mnidoo Migizi Chanelle Smoke, Bear Clan, of Alderville First Nation, as a National Youth Panelist. Chanelle has shown herself to be a leader not only within our school board here at Kawartha Pine-Ridge DSB, but also within her community. From an early age, Chanelle has had the wellbeing of others foremost in her mind. She is currently enrolled in the paramedic program at Loyalist College. She decided to become a paramedic while watching First Responders tend to her father as he was dying of cancer. More recently, Chanelle has also ensured that community members in her community unable to participate in events such as corn processing, due to illness, still were given shares of the processed corn. She did this without being asked, and outside of her duties in the Cultural Coordination department. She served for 3 years on our board’s Director’s Indigenous Student Advisory Group, which was the launching pad for significant changes to Indigenous Education in our Board. As well, Chanelle was recently invited to speak on a provincial panel of Indigenous Student leaders to advise non-Indigenous education policymakers in Ontario on how to effectively transform the education system to make it more engaging and meaningful for Indigenous students.