National Youth Panel

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2023 National Youth Panelists

The National Youth Panel was 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.

Please watch the 2023 National Youth Panel Video:


2023 National Youth Panelists:

Macyn Morning Bull - Piikani Nation
Basketball star named to Cando’s national youth panel

Macyn Morning Bull

Macyn Morning Bull has given her share of motivational speeches over the years.

And now the 24-year-old, a member of Piikani Nation in Alberta, will be able to share her story on a national scale.

Morning Bull, an elite basketball player and recent university graduate, is one of six individuals that have been named to the National Youth Panel for this year’s Cando Conference.

The conference, which will be held in Membertou, N.S., begins on June 26 and continues until June 29.

Morning Bull and the other panelists were selected based on their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit and participation within their communities.

Morning Bull has been a guest speaker at numerous youth events in her First Nation.

“I grew up playing basketball,” she said. “And I tell them I want you to be better than I am.”

Morning Bull actually was not introduced to the sport until she was 11. Prior to that she was a figure skater and played hockey. Her other interests were playing the piano and being a band member.

But she quickly fell in love with basketball.


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Justin Langan - Métis
Future lawyer also has political aspirations


Justin LanganJustin Langan already has a lengthy list of accolades and accomplishments.

And the 24-year-old Métis, who is an Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ activist, will soon add another highlight to his already impressive record.

Langan, who is from the Manitoba town of Swan River, is one of six individuals that have been selected to serve on the National Youth Panel for this year’s Cando Conference.

The conference, scheduled for June 26-29, will be held in Membertou, N.S.

The half dozen panelists from across the country were chosen based on their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit and participation within their communities.

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Kathleen Doxtator - Oneida Nation of the Thames
Panelist juggles teaching career with political life and entrepreneurship

Kathleen DoxtatorKathleen Doxtator is certainly one busy individual.

For starters, Doxtator, a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames in southwestern Ontario, is a teacher on special assignment with the Thames Valley District School Board.

She travels to various schools within the board and offers Indigenous-themed classes.

“It all depends on the needs of the school,” Doxtator said, adding her school visits can range anywhere from a single day to several days in a row at the same school.

For schools that are in her board and that do have one, Doxtator also works alongside Indigenous associations.

“There’s like a handful, probably five or six schools, that have an Indigenous association,” she said. “I think there’s more that are up and coming and starting to be developed.”

For Doxtator, the 2022-23 academic year marked her first one in her current role.

But prior to that she was a teacher at Saunders Secondary School in London, Ont. Her responsibilities included being an Oneida language teacher and also developing Indigenous-focused programs to support Indigenous students.

Besides her teaching responsibilities, Doxtator, who is 30, also found the time to serve a total of six years as a council member for her First Nation. She served three terms, each one lasting two years, from 2016 to 2022.

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Brayden Omeasoo-Steinhauer - Ermineskin Cree Nation
Role model pursuing career in education

Brayden Omeasoo-SteinhauerBesides continuing his own academic interests, Brayden Omeasoo-Steinhauer is also considered a positive role model for his First Nation.

Omeasoo-Steinhauer, a member of Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta, recently completed his third year of Bachelor of Education studies from the University of Alberta.

He’s expected to complete his degree requirements in the spring of 2024, following one more year of studies.

Omeasoo-Steinhauer, who is 21, is also in his second year of serving as the youth advisory board member for the Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc., the economic arm of his First Nation.

“It was a newly created position in my community,” he said. “I was keen to do it. They’re leading change in my community.”

Omeasoo-Steinhauer’s two-year term on the board is up this coming November. Ideally, he would like to be selected to serve another term as well.

“They’ve grown so much in the past 10 years,” he added of the Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc. “They’ve gone from five companies to 13.”

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Kianna Bear-Hetherington - St. Mary’s First Nation
University grad hoping to be voice for those facing environmental injustices

Kianna Bear-HetheringtonKianna Bear-Hetherington has managed to turn her life around and she’s now considered a role model.

Bear-Hetherington, who is 23, graduated this spring from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental and natural resources, with a major in water resource management.

It didn’t take long for the member of St. Mary’s First Nation in New Brunswick to find some work. She accepted a position to work as a fisheries technician for the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, which is comprised of a half dozen First Nations throughout the province.

Bear-Hetherington is also one of six individuals that have been chosen to be a part of the National Youth Panel, for this year’s Cando Conference, set for June 26-29 in Membertou, N.S.

The youth panelists, who are between the ages of 18-30, were selected for their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit and participation within their communities.

“It really means a lot to me,” Bear-Hetherington said of her selection to the panel. “I’m really inspired to go and share my story. It’s really empowering for me.”

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Reanna Merasty - Barren Lands First Nation
Future architect also has mind set on obtaining her PhD

Reanna MerastyReanna Merasty is well on her way to fulfilling one of her life goals.

Merasty, a member of Barren Lands First Nation in Manitoba, has spent the past two years working as an architectural intern at Number TEN Architectural Group, an award-winning Winnipeg firm.

Besides having to take some future exams, Merasty is more than halfway past the 3,700 internship hours required before she becomes a licensed architect.

Merasty, who is now 28, had graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design.

She had earned her undergraduate degree in 2019. Two years later she obtained her Master’s degree.

With her current position she frequently advocates for Indigenous inclusion and representation in design education.

There’s also a good chance Merasty will resume her academic studies, perhaps in a few years.

“I want to really pursue a PhD in the future and become a professor on the side,” she said.

Merasty added she has established a five-year goal by which point she wants to have started working towards her PhD.

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