“It’s essential to create space for our youth to lead,”
-Grand Chief Jerry Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) recognizes and congratulates its’ Youth Council’s newly elected Chiefs and Council members.
“No matter what age, our elected leaders all have a sworn responsibility to improve the quality of life for the Anishnaabe and Dakota Nations, and that starts with our children and youth,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to everyone who had the character and courage to put their names on the ballot. Welcome to our new Chiefs and Council for the SCO Youth Council.”
Tréchelle Bunn from Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation and John Dorie from Sagkeeng Anicinabe First Nation were elected as SCO’s new Youth Chiefs. The new Council members are Calleigh Anderson, Pinaymootang (IRTC); Josh Gandier, Peguis (IRTC); Iroc Lavesseur, Ebb and Flow (WRTC); Daylon Catcheway, Skownan (WRTC); Kaelei Knutson, Long Plain (DOTC); Katrina Bittern, Poplar River (SERDC); Kevin Bittern, Poplar River (SERDC); Angel Fosty, Canupawakpa, and Sage Courchene, Sagkeeng representing the Nations independent of Tribal Council membership.
The new executive will serve a two-year term. The youth Chiefs share a vote at SCO Summits.
“I am incredibly honoured to be trusted by my fellow youth to represent our collective voices,” said Youth Chief Tréchelle Bunn. “I believe that as youth, we are the leaders of today. We are the change-makers, the world changers, the ground shakers; we are the now. I am excited to lead with and alongside my fellow Youth Chief and Council and ensure that the voices of the youth across our 34 communities are heard.”
SCO also wants to acknowledge outgoing Youth Chiefs Diandre Thomas-Hart of Peguis First Nation and Lyle Gabriel of Skownan First Nation.
“I had the honour and pleasure of working closely with these emerging young leaders, Diandre Thomas-Hart and Lyle Gabriel. I recognize the former Youth Chiefs as well as the former Council members: Sienna Gould, Tyra Fountain, Emilie McKinney, Rylee Nepinak, Xavier Kent, and Sophia Smoke,” shared Grand Chief Daniels. “I want them to know how much the southern Chiefs of Manitoba appreciate the sacrifice and work they put into their portfolios. I know they are destined for continued leadership and success in whatever their futures hold.”
The new Chiefs and Council members were elected as part of the third day of Oshkii Wadizaag Ga Niiganwendamwaad/Tec’a pi hena wowapi yuha skan pi. This was a gathering focused on career development and offered participants information about various careers and economic development projects through workshops, cultural teachings, exhibitor booths, and presentations.
“Given the theme of this gathering, I cannot think of a better way to wrap things up, than celebrating those who are choosing to lead the way for their peers,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I am excited to see what they have learned over the last three days. SCO will continue to create space for our youth to lead.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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