The vision of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Youth Council is to strengthen youth voices, by empowering and advocating for youth on the basis of culture, equality, and independence for the benefit of future generations to come.
The SCO Youth Council was established in March 2018 and membership in the Youth Council consists of representation from each of the following Tribal Councils:
- Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council
- Interlake Reserve Tribal Council
- Southeast Resource Development Council Corp.
- West Region Tribal Council
- Independent First Nations members of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization
- Two Youth Chiefs
The two major pillars of the Youth Council are generating awareness around the protection and preservation of water, and strengthening their internal and external governance through professional development and relationship building.
COVID-19 Support for Post-Secondary Students
Post-secondary students are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. Many students were preparing to start a summer job, and are now worried about how to pay rent and cover basic living expenses, while recent graduates are struggling to find meaningful work.
The Government of Canada announced support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates on April 22, 2020. These measures include:
- a Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which provides support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit is available from May to August 2020, and payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Government of Canada will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities. To help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:
- Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
- Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
- Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
- Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
- Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.
- On March 30, 2020, the Government of Canada placed a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying.
- On April 8, 2020, the Government of Canada announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians with access to jobs and help create up to 70,000 jobs for youth between 15 and 30 years old.
The Youth Council represents young people from across Anishinaabe and Dakota Territory in Manitoba who are all impacted by the treatment and neglect of water. Some of their communities have been devastated by flooding, boil water advisories, decreasing fish populations, and increasing algae blooms that are damaging Lake Winnipeg.
Around the world young people are leading the way in terms of advocacy for climate change and water protection, and here in southern Manitoba, the Youth Council have been holding educational gatherings to involve more Anishinaabe and Dakota youth in conversations and strategies to protect and improve the water. The Council is also in the development stages of creating a campaign to raise awareness about the condition of water in our communities, and to share skill-building on ways to test quality and safety.
An important part of being a leader is learning how to work well with others and developing skills to better serve in your role. Grand Chief Jerry Daniels empowered the southern Anishinaabe and Dakota youth voice by ensuring the Youth Chiefs have a vote at the SCO table, like all other chiefs in the south. This is a rare situation that does not exist anywhere else on Turtle Island.
Youth Council representatives attend conferences and sessions that bring together young Indigenous leaders from around the world, from the Assembly of First Nations, to the United Nations, to SCO Chiefs’ summits and events, the Council is active locally, nationally, and internationally. The Council works with coalition partners towards common goals and co-hosting of events, and these relationships are important in the growth of the Council, and individual Council members.
Through the passing of resolutions and creation of terms of reference, Youth Council representatives have put in place a structure of support, as well as increased stability and training for the next generation of leaders that will come after them. They have also agreed to make themselves available as mentors over a transitional period to help incoming representatives.
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|Coty Zachariah||Youth Council Coordinatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Evan Lilley||Youth Chief
Dakota Tipi First Nation
|Ashley Daniels||Youth Chief
Swan Lake First Nation
Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation
Pinaymootang First Nation
Canupawakpa Dakota Nation
Sagkeeng First Nation
Sandy Bay First Nation
Sandy Bay First Nation
Ebb & Flow First Nation
Keeseekoowenin First Nation
Black River First Nation
Congratulations to Chloe Wesley of Poplar River First Nation for your submission to the SCO Youth Council's #StayHome Contest Round 2!
Click here to read Chloe's beautiful short story about a young woman, Olivia, who is completing education in a new way during this period of isolation. Miigwetch for the powerful words!