The National Youth Panel is 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 that will be hosted in Membertou, NS. The selections for the National Youth Panel are based on their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit, and participation within their communities.
Must have not been part of the youth panel before
Must be between 18-30 years of age
Must be of Indigenous descent (Inuit, Métis, First Nation)
Selected 2023 Youth Panelists will Enjoy:
Recognition for their achievements during the Conference, on Cando's website and in Cando's Connect Magazine
All paid trip to Membertou, NS and a complimentary conference registration
Please watch the 2022 National Youth Panel video...
Moderator - Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias
Canoe Lake Cree Nation
Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias is a nêhiyâskwew from Canoe Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 10 Territory, with paternal roots to Little Pine First Nation on Treaty 6 Territory. Aubrey is a recent graduate from the University of Saskatchewan with her Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance, a Global Business Stream Certificate, and an Indigenous Governance and Politics Certificate. During her time on campus, she worked to advance Indigenous student success by co-founding the Indigenous Business Students’ Society in October of 2018, a locally and nationally recognized group. She furthered this work through her role on the Edwards Business Students’ Society where she created and implemented the first Indigenous Initiatives Strategy for a business student group in Canada. Her work extends outside of her campus community through her time working for numerous Indigenous organizations such as Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and Indigenous Clean Energy, and now, as an Operations Consultant with Tatâga Inc. Her passions have also led her to be in the first cohort of Generation Power, a National Ambassador of Hope for the We Matter Campaign, and as the National Student Director for Cando for which she recently completed two terms. With Cando, Aubrey has sat on multiple committees and was part of the 15th Annual National Youth Panel.
Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation
Mackenzie Brown is a First Nations Cree woman from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, currently residing in Amiskwaciwaskahikan, Edmonton. She is a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area. Mackenzie and her mom perform as “Warrior Women”. They drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more. Along with drumming, Mackenzie is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017 and sold to people travelling world wide at Jasper Park Lodge. She is the recent recipient of the 2019 Esquao Award for Children's Future, 2019 Indigenous Woman of the year from the Alberta Assembly of First Nations and Top 30 under 30 From Alberta Corporation for Global Cooperation 2020. Mackenzie was also recently highlighted as the only Indigenous and Albertan artist on the reality TV show Landscape Artist of the Year Canada where she placed in the top 3 finalists. Read Mackenzie's full story!
George Gordon First Nation
Joshua “Josh” Montana is 23 years old and a proud member of the George Gordon First Nation. He resides in Saskatoon and attends the University of Regina enrolled in the Faculty of Business. Prior to attending the University of Regina, Josh lived in Redwood City, California where he attended Canada College on a baseball scholarship. Graduating with an associate degree in Economics he returned to Saskatchewan to complete his business degree and focus on his career. Josh has a heart to be an advocate for young Indigenous youth, putting an emphasis on the importance of physical and mental health. He is employed full time as the Vice President of Stewardship & Relations with Wicehtowak Limnos Consulting Services Limited and in his spare time he acts as an independent environmental consultant and has completed work with First Nation communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Josh graduated from the Martin Collegiate Institute, in Regina, SK., where he excelled in academics, hockey, basketball, and baseball. In October 2021 he was selected as the top 16 Fastball players in the Country and named to the Team Canada U23 National Pan-American games team. The Pan American games will be played in Columbia, South America in Quarter one of 2022. Team Canada needs to qualify in the top four to advance to the World Baseball Softball Classic in Argentina in November of 2022. Josh is a natural born leader and an accomplished athlete who is blazed a trail for other First Nation athletes in Saskatchewan. His leadership abilities are displayed in life with his peers, his various sports teams and in his profession. He takes pride in doing the “right thing” when no one is watching; displaying honesty and integrity in all that he puts his hands too. Read Josh's full story!
Metis Nation BC
Nolan McAllister is a Metis cinematographer and director from British Columbia currently living and working from Kamloops located in the ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. Nolan has been working as a cinematographer and editor for over 10 years and has participated in various filmmaking programs including receiving specialized training from the American Society of Cinematography. He is the director of Orenda Films Inc., an award-winning and provincially recognized, 100% Indigenous-owned film production and video solutions firm (incorporated in the province of BC). Nolan specializes in the creation of Indigenous-led film/video productions for government, community, commercial businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Nolan also has worked on various film/television productions and has worked along the side of an academy-recognized director. Currently, Nolan is working as the co-producer and cinematographer for an up-and-coming documentary being produced by Munro/Thompson and Huu-ay-aht First Nation on the restructuring and rebuilding of the road that connects their community to Port Alberni. He is also working as a cinematographer for another documentary being produced by Munro/Thompson and Blueberry River First Nation on their recent court case win against the Province of British Columbia. Another exciting project that Nolan and Orenda Films are working on is a short documentary with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres with regards to the removal of sex-based discrimination within the Indian Act.
Nathan Crow is a proud Blackfoot male and a member of the Kainai First Nation, also known as the Blood Tribe. He grew up off-reserve his entire life and believes that this lived experience has enabled him to walk in two worlds and see the world through a two-eyed seeing lens. Crow returned to school as a mature student in September of 2019, after taking nine years off from his educational journey to enter the work force. Since returning to school, Crow has fully dedicated himself towards succeeding and reaching his full potential. Upon enrolling in the Indigenous Governance and Business Management program, he has made the Dean's Honor list in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, while also working two part time jobs with the University of Lethbridge: in the library as a student assistant, and with enrolment services as a student mentor. He is also the Indigenous student representative on the Students’ Union council at his university, as well as a member of the Community Futures Treaty Seven Student Advisory committee, and the National Student Director for Cando. Crow is very passionate about giving back to his community through the various advocacy and volunteer positions that he holds. Read Nathan's full story!
Metis Nation Saskatchewan
Shayna Uhryn is a resilient Métis woman who aspires to be a catalyst for change in the Indigenous community. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis, Shayna is a Chancellor's Scholar in the Honours Anatomy and Cell Biology program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). As recipient of the Governor General's Proficiency award, Shayna strives to be a role model for Indigenous youth and inspiration for Indigenous women in STEM. As a former varsity and multi-national athlete in four different sports, Shayna co-founded the USask Indigenous Health and Wellness Group. Through a holistic understanding of wellness, she offers Indigenous students a sense of belonging and opportunity to reconnect with their culture. In addition to her involvement in the Student Undergraduate Research Experience program, she served as a student leader at the USask Aboriginal Student's Centre to help amplify the voices of the Indigenous student population. Shayna's community initiatives include teaching track-and-field on Saskatchewan Métis reserves and serving as a leader at track meets for First Nations athletes, helping empower future leaders in her community. Shayna believes pursuing a health-related career will provide her with foundational skills needed to accomplish her goals to make a change. Read Shayna's full story!
Kisipatnahk (Louis Bull) Tribe
Shayla Raine is a 22-year-old Plains Cree woman from Treaty Six Territory. She is an enrolled band member of the Kisipatnahk tribe within Maskwacis, Alberta and she currently resides on unceded syilx territory in the Okanagan, British Columbia. Shayla is a young mother, independent author, Canadian Armed Forces reservist and a student at The University of British Columbia Okanagan. Shayla wrote, co-illustrated and self-published her first children’s book, “The Way Creator Sees You”, on Amazon in early 2022. This book is a long, free-verse poem targeted to young Indigenous boys to embrace their Indigenous features and sheds light on the important roles children and elders hold within Indigenous kinship. Shayla also had a poem published through UBC’s Paper Shell Anthology in March 2022 called, “Where The Sweetgrass Grows”. It is a free verse poem about two Indigenous lovers who share the common goal of decolonizing their love through language revitalization, ceremony, and healing for their future grandchildren. Shayla uses her experiences of being a young mother and healing from intergenerational trauma to inspire her to write. Read Shayla's full story!
The youth panel was founded in 2004 as there was a need to recognize and honor young Indigenous leaders from across Canada. Once again their voices will be heard, their achievements will be shared and their challenges will be revealed! Each year Cando selects six Indigenous youth participants from numerous nominations. The Cando Board, Conference Committee and Cando Staff thoughtfully select the youth based upon their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit of launching their careers, and participation within their communities.
Each year, the National Youth Panel is held as an event at the Cando Annual National Conference & AGM. Cando believes it is imperative to recognize and honor leaders, particularly Indigenous youth from across Canada. One of the many highlights at the Cando conference is our National Youth Panel. Over the years, Cando has continually realized featuring a youth panel is essential and hosting this event has allowed Indigenous youth who are pursuing their dreams to speak their ways of success at our conference.
Previous youth panelists have been involved in employment and entrepreneurial ventures such as: a sports wear company; fresh water bottling and catering businesses, a Vice President of an Internet company, an artist and writer who owns a comic book publishing company, an Outfitting company, Outdoor garden center craft store owner, Outdoor Adventure Company, Fashion Designer, First Nations Snowboarding Team Coordinator and Aboriginal Diabetes Outreach Program worker to name a few.