University student leader named to national youth panel
By Sam Laskaris
Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias is proving it’s not only those from major centres that can make a huge difference.
The 20-year-old member from Saskatchewan’s Canoe Lake Cree First Nation has already achieved quite a bit in her young life.
And Laliberte-Pewapisconias has plenty of other lofty goals she’d like to achieve.
Thus, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to find out the highly-motivated Laliberte-Pewapisconias has also been named to the six-person national youth panel, which will participate in the 2019 Cando Conference.
The event, organized by Cando, the organization which promotes Indigenous economic development across Canada, is scheduled for Oct. 27-30 in Gatineau, Que.
Laliberte-Pewapisconias, who began her Business program studies at the University of Saskatchewan in 2017, believes it’s significant she’s been chosen for the national youth panel.
“I think it’s meaningful, especially coming from a small Saskatchewan community where you hear about bigger places like Toronto and Vancouver,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine that you too can make a big difference.”
Shortly after the Cando Conference, Laliberte-Pewapisconias will head to England to complete the third year of her university studies. She’ll be on an exchange, studying at the University of Essex beginning in January.
She’ll remain overseas to work in a London-based public relations firm next summer before returning home for her fourth year at the University of Saskatchewan.
Laliberte-Pewapisconias has already made vital contributions name at the Canadian school.
For example, she founded the Indigenous Business Students’ Society (IBSS) last fall. This group, open to all Indigenous students at the school, is intended to make all feel welcome.
The IBSS, which had about 50 members in its inaugural year, also hosted a gala featuring Indigenous community leaders where students were encouraged to network for some possible future work positions.
As for Laliberte-Pewapisconias, after she completes her University of Saskatchewan degree she’s hoping to attend the University of Victoria to earn her MBA.
Ideally, she’d like to return to her home province after that and get a job with the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). She’s worked as a SIGA summer student the past two years.
Laliberte-Pewapisconias said she’d welcome the chance to work for the non-profit organization on a full-time basis because of how it operates, investing its profits back into communities.
Half of these profits are distributed among the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.
“For me to work for what is unlike any other organization in Canada really means a lot to me,” she said.
2019 National Youth Panel
Canoe Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan
Canoe Lake Cree First Nation, Saskatchewan
Sucker Creek First Nation, Alberta
Okanagan Indian Band, British Columbia
Carry the Kettle Nakoda First Nation, Saskatchewan
Alderville First Nation, Ontario