Student at Gloucester High School, advocate for the rights of Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ people
Falicia is a young Indigenous student at Gloucester High School and winner of the 2018 Take a Stand Award along with her friends Jesse Kavanaugh and Emily Taylor. Falicia plays an important role in the OCDSB’s Original Voice Youth Council which organizes an Indigenous Youth Symposium for the entire school board, bringing together over 300 students each year. She is an advocate for the rights of LGTBQ2+ people despite the negative effects of colonization on Indigenous communities and their perception of gender and sexuality.
Falicia was first introduced to Youth Ottawa by A7G - The Assembly of Seven Generations - an organization that frequently collaborates with Youth Ottawa. A7G is an Indigenous-owned and youth-led non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment programs for Indigenous youth led by traditional knowledge and Elder guidance. Facilita frequently works with A7G to bring recognition to Indigenous issues and fundraise for young Indigenous people to take part in activities.
Most recently, Falicia, Emily and Jesse, built a new lodge (safe space) at Gloucester High. Falicia told us that being recognized for the award meant her efforts and the efforts of her group in bettering the community are making an impact, and has encouraged her to continue modeling Indigenous values.
When asked what advice Falicia would give to other young people, she told us, “Be unapologetically you and stand up for what you believe in even if you feel like it’s you against the world. A small impact is still an impact.”
Nominations are now open for this years RBC Spirit Awards. You can nominate a youth just like Falicia until March 20th!