Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck:
Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to introduce some very special guests in the gallery today. The Aboriginal Peoples Committee is launching the third edition of our Youth Indigenize the Senate program, which brings young Indigenous community leaders from across the country to Ottawa so that we can listen to them and learn from their experiences. This year they will be helping us with our committee’s study on the nature of a new relationship between Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
Spirit River Striped Wolf is a 24-year-old First Nations man from Alberta and a political science student at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He is an advocate for indigenizing on entrepreneurship. He is heavily involved in his community campus, including through the Iniskim Centre, which increases awareness of distinct Indigenous cultures and offers services to support Indigenous students.
Rae-Anne Harper is a Plains Cree woman with Metis roots from Onion Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Completing a Native studies degree in Lloydminster, she is president of her Aboriginal youth council and coordinates youth programs and camps for at-risk, urban Indigenous youth.
Amanda Fredlund is Dene from Manitoba and is the Co-President of the University of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Students Association. An accomplished and published photographer majoring in Native studies, she has been the driving force behind countless workshops and celebrations of Indigenous cultures, including pow-wow demonstrations and sweat lodges.
Kieran McMonagle is a 28-year-old Metis woman and a graduation coach with the Keewatin Patricia District School Board in western Ontario, whose work supports over 300 Indigenous students and families. She draws inspiration from her making positive change for Indigenous youth, and this year she will see her first cohort of students graduate.
Bryanna Brown, a 20-year-old Inuk woman, has worked with Indigenous groups in her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, including with the Traditions and Transitions Research Partnership and the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership. She is active in her community and has helped to organize an international Inuit research conference.
Spirit River, Rae-Anne, Amanda, Kieran and Bryanna, welcome to the Senate of Canada.