Student at Glebe Collegiate Institute, member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC), Chair of Actua’s Youth Council, and Chair of Glebe’s Indigenous Advocacy Council
Gannaboute Gagne is a student at Glebe Collegiate Institute, a member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC), Chair of Actua’s Youth Council, and Chair of Glebe’s Indigenous Advocacy Council. He received the 2018 Strength Through Diversity Award after being nominated by his former teacher, Anneke Jansen Van Doorn.
Gannaboute was first introduced to Youth Ottawa at Youth Indigenize the Senate in June 2017. Indigenize the Senate was an event organized by the Senate of Canada and Youth Ottawa to provide young people’s perspectives to the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples on building better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
Even highly engaged youth like Ganaaboute need help connecting to the community and staying motivated. He remembers the awards as an opportunity to meet like-minded youth who are committed to giving back to the community. “The event itself was so different than I thought it would be. The day was stress-free and a fun chance to meet new people and enjoy the experience,” he told us.
As an Indigenous youth, Gannaboute says the Spirit Awards also showed him that there are organizations and people standing behind him in a world where there is so much resistance to his equity work. The award led Gannaboute to continue his involvement with Youth Ottawa by becoming a member of OYEC. On OYEC, Gannaboute is a member of the Indigenous Working Group and is working with the City to secure accessible spaces and activities for local Indigenous-led youth organizations, like the Assembly of 7 Generations.
Gannaboute believes that the awards offer an official source of appreciation for young people who are striving for something more. “We all need that push to get us to the finish line. In my opinion, the awards keep fantastic youth motivated towards achieving their goals.”
Nominations are now open for this years RBC Spirit Awards. You can nominate a youth just like Gannaboute until March 20th!