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.
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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Meet the Youth Council
Tréchelle Bunn, Youth Chief
Tréchelle Bunn is 23 years old and 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.
John Dorie, Youth Chief
Sagkeeng First Nation
Calleigh Anderson, IRTC Representative
Pinaymootang First Nation
Josh Grandier, IRTC Representative
Peguis First Nation
Iroc Lavesseur, WRTC Representative
Ebb and Flow First Nation
Daylon Catcheway, WRTC Representative
Skownan First Nation
Kaelei Knutson, DOTC Representative
Long Plain First Nation
Katrina Bittern, SERDC Representative
Poplar River First Nation
Kevin Bittern, SERDC Representative
Poplar River First Nation
Angel Fosty, Independent Representative
Canupawakpa Dakota Nation
Sage Courchene, Independent Representative
Sagkeeng First Nation