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Youth Council

The vision of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Youth Council is to strengthen the youth voice by empowering, inspiring, and actively engaging with youth from the 34 SCO member First Nations. The Council is dedicated to cultivating relationships, creating meaningful opportunities, and enhancing accessibility to culture, with the overarching goal of positively impacting the next seven generations.

About the Council

The SCO Youth Council was established in March 2018. Membership of the Youth Council consists of two representatives from each of the following Tribal Councils:

  • Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council
  • Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
  • Southeast Resource Development Council Corp.
  • West Region Tribal Council
  • Independent First Nations members of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization

The SCO Youth Council distinguishes itself by having two Youth Chiefs who play crucial leadership roles, overseeing the Council. Notably, these Youth Chiefs hold a voting position at the SCO table, like all other Chiefs in the southern region. This unique opportunity does not exist anywhere else on Turtle Island and serves as a testament to SCO’s unwavering commitment to elevating and honouring the voices and perspectives of youth.

Major pillars statement

The SCO Youth Council is founded on three fundamental pillars that guide its mission and initiatives:

  • Empowering and uplifting the youth voice
  • Increasing accessibility to culture
  • Strengthening youth leadership

Youth voice

The Youth Council serves as a dedicated platform for young people hailing from across Anishinaabe and Dakota Territory in southern Manitoba. The SCO Youth Council is driven by the mission to establish meaningful connections with youth across these 34 Nations. The Council focuses on fostering relationships to ensure that young people’s unique perspectives, experiences, and voices are recognized and uplifted, allowing young people to be actively involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives and Nations.

Culture

The Youth Council is also committed to enhancing accessibility to culture by providing opportunities for youth to connect and celebrate their culture. This includes organizing events, workshops, and activities that allow youth to learn and practice their culture, language, and traditional teachings while also providing the opportunity for youth to connect and learn from Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

Leadership

It is crucial for youth to understand the significance of their voices and to feel empowered as leaders in their communities and beyond. The SCO Youth Council plays a pivotal role in providing a platform for young leaders from First Nations across southern Manitoba to form a collective and work together towards common goals.

One of the key ways in which the Youth Council facilitates leadership development is by offering opportunities for representatives to participate in various conferences, gatherings, and sessions. This allows Youth Council members to advocate at local, provincial, national, and international levels. By engaging in such forums, the Youth Council ensures that its members are exposed to a wealth of opportunities and experiences.

The SCO Youth Council aims to build a strong leadership foundation for the future leaders of our Nations, provinces, and country.

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Meet the Youth Council

Tréchelle Bunn, Youth Chief

Tréchelle Bunn grew up in Wampum, Manitoba. She is a proud member of Chan Kagha Otina Dakhóta Oyáte (Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation). Tréchelle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology with a minor in Indigenous Studies from the University of Manitoba. Tréchelle is continuing her education at the University of Manitoba’s law school, Robson Hall pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer. During her undergrad, Tréchelle played hockey for the Bison Women’s hockey team, was a member of the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment, was a mentor with the Neechiwaken Peer Mentorship program and was an Indigenous Student Connector. Tréchelle is also the founder of the Reconciliation Run, which is Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation half-marathon. She is a decorated young leader, respectfully earning accolades such as the University of Manitoba Indigenous Award of Excellence for Community Building and the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council (MASRC) Indigenous Volunteer of the Year Award. The Nellie McClung Foundation also recognized Tréchelle as an Inspiring Young Leader.
Tréchelle is honored to be elected Youth Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and is eager to ensure that the voices of the youth across the 34 communities are heard. Tréchelle is an accomplished and passionate athlete, student and activist.

Joshua Gandier, Youth Chief

Joshua Gandier is a member of Peguis First Nation. Joshua was born and raised in Winnipeg. During his upbringing, he participated in many sports, with basketball becoming his main focus. Joshua’s competitive experience includes playing for Manitoba provincial teams, for the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) Wesmen men’s basketball team, and for Manitoba at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). Joshua has also demonstrated his commitment to community by coaching basketball to Indigenous youth throughout the province. In summer 2023, he had the opportunity to head coach the 16U Manitoba Boys at the NAIG in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During his time at the U of W, Joshua earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Accounting. He will use his education as a lead on the Youth Council’s Finance Committee. Joshua is continuing his studies at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law. With a background in business and law, Joshua is eager to start a career related to First Nation tax, estates, business, and Aboriginal Law. His experiences in sport have created numerous opportunities outside of sport, most importantly, the opportunity to earn an education. That is why he is focused on creating athletic opportunities for the future generations. As a Youth Chief, Joshua will advocate for sport opportunities for youth from SCO Nations so they can have access to opportunities that will support them towards their journey in earning an education.

Kaelei Knutson, DOTC Representative

Long Plain First Nation

Calleigh Anderson, IRTC Representative

Pinaymootang First Nation

Katrina Bittern, SERDC Representative

Poplar River First Nation

Kevin Bittern, SERDC Representative

Poplar River First Nation

Iroc Lavesseur, WRTC Representative

Ebb and Flow First Nation

Daylon Catcheway, WRTC Representative

Skownan First Nation

Angel Fosty, Independent Representative

Canupawakpa Dakota Nation

Sage Courchene, Independent Representative

Sagkeeng First Nation

VACANT, DOTC Representative

VACANT, IRTC Representative

Media Releases

April 29, 2023: SCO Youth Gathering Closes With Election of New Youth Council

August 21, 2023: SCO Commends Youth Chief Tréchelle Bunn for Honouring the Children of Birdtail Sioux