"I really want to help my people get on that healing journey."

Following a successful Youth Indigenize the Senate Day 2017, in partnership with the Senate of Canada, three youth leaders testified in front of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. The testimonies of these to identify the issues and outline their visions for a new relationship between Canada and its First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The following youth leaders were accompanied by Youth Ottawa's OYEC coordinator Emma Buchanan, who lead the planning for this year's Youth Indigenize the Senate Day. 


William Komaksiutiksak
The 20 year old youth the Founder of the group "Strong Minded Inuit". Originally from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut but has been living in Ottawa for most of his life. He is passionate about the life experiences of Inuit youth in cities and small communities in the north. He also has an invested interest in the inter-generational impacts of residential schools, having experienced that himself.


Theland Kicknosway
The 14 year old Pottawatami Cree youth from Walpole Island is an Indigenous activist, raising awareness of MMIWG2S and the inter-generational affects of residential schools. He is also a traditional drummer, singer & hoop-dancer. Theland is also a previous Youth Ottawa Spirit Award recipient.


Daxton Rhead

The Grade 11 student from Ottawa's Glebe Collegiate Institute has been involved with Indigenous issues as an ally since Grade 3, winning multiple awards for his advocacy and has presented on Parliament Hill for "Have a Heart" day (with Cindy Blackstock from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society).
A short clip from the day of testimony:

Full video of the youth testifying can be found on the Senate of Canada video player.