Forum highlights importance of Aboriginal youth leadership

Posted: February 11, 2014 11:15 a.m.

Speaker Cadmus Delorme said that those attending the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Forum were
Speaker Cadmus Delorme said that those attending the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Forum were "the next generation of leaders" Photo: U of R Photography

Neekaneewak – a Micif word meaning “We Are Leading” – is the title of the forum that brought together local youth leaders, of both First Nations and Métis ancestry.

In welcoming the participants to the University of Regina, Dr. Shauneen Pete, the executive lead on Indigenization at the University of Regina, said that effective leadership was essential for success.

“When we ask our learners ‘why did you come to the university?’ they almost always tell us that they want to give their children a better life. And the second answer the give us is that they want to transform our communities for the better – and that requires real leadership from young people and old people together,” explained Pete.

One of the guest speakers, Cadmus Delorme, a graduate of First Nations University of Canada spoke about leadership and governance. Delorme thinks the conference “will strengthen leadership into the future. We’re talking about the next generation of leaders, and we need to prepare them.”

Other guest speakers included Julianne Beaudin-Herney, the founder of the Student Initiative to Change On-Campus Systemic Racism who talked about leadership and activism; Jaqueline Anaquod, a student at First Nations University of Canada specializing in Indigenous Health, who made a presentation about leadership and health; and Alumna Robyn Morin, who shared her story of leadership and self identity.

The last presentation of the day included a panel of speakers comprised of Dr. Shauneen Pete; Shane Keepness, graduate student; and Dr. James Daschuk, associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology. The panel members answered questions related to their personal concepts of leadership and the importance of education.