We believe Indigenous youth are healers and changemakers, and with the right support and resources, can be the ones to inspire and uplift other Indigenous youth and their communities! We Matter’s National Ambassadors of Hope is a mentorship program supporting Indigenous youth to connect, uplift, inspire, and make change.

Ambassadors of Hope are Indigenous youth ages 16-26 who share messages of hope, culture and strength within their own community and surrounding region. With support from the We Matter team, they deliver presentations on hardship, hope, and healing across schools and communities. They live by example in order to inspire and connect with other Indigenous youth, break mental health and suicide stigma, and promote healthy communities.

Are you an Indigenous youth who is dedicated to promoting hope and life within your community and region!?

Recruitment for National Ambassadors is now closed and applications will reopen in Spring 2021!

Learn about the first year of the National Ambassadors of Hope Program here:

AOH 2019/2020 Storybook

What does it take to be an Ambassador of Hope?

To be an Ambassador of Hope, you need to be an Indigenous (Métis, Inuit or First Nations) youth between the ages of 16 and 26 who is ready and dedicated to promoting hope and life within your region. You will need to attend a week-long We Matter & Facebook #HopeForum: National Ambassadors of Hope Training, commit to the program for a minimum of one year, and take an independent lead within your own region. The program is a mentorship with access to youth support dollars and some opportunity to receive compensation.

How can I be an Ambassador of Hope?

Applications to become a National Ambassador of Hope are now open! There are three components to the application process – written application, video submission, and an interview with the We Matter team. We’re looking forward to meeting Indigenous youth who want to use their voices to create change!

Email hopeambassadors@wemattercampaign.org for questions or to invite an Ambassador of Hope to deliver a Hope, Culture, Strength Session in your area.

Meet the 2019/2020 National Ambassadors of Hope:

Jenna Robar
Jenna Robar(she/her) 24 – Unamaki (Mi’kmaw)
Jenna Robar is a young Mi’kmaw woman from Unama’ki. She is a leader and change-maker in her communities and has spent many years of her life working for local organizations, community events, and with levels of government.

Jenna is a speaker, singer, and traditional hand-drummer who obtained a Health and Indigenous studies degree at York University- she is currently working on projects both in Ontario and in Nova Scotia to unite Newcomer youth and Indigenous youth to improve their common challenges- keeping mental health and wellness as a focus. She is also a Holistic Health Coach, infusing nutrition and Indigenous food sovereignty into her work.

Autumn LaRose-Smith
Autumn LaRose-Smith(she/her) 23 – Métis
Autumn is a proud queer, Métis student who attends Saskatchewan Urban Teachers Education Program (SUNTEP) Saskatoon.

She is an active volunteer in her community and sits on the Board for Ness Creek Cultural and Recreational Society (NCCRS). Autumn was recently awarded the Young Women Leaders Award age 18-29, recognizing emerging Metis leaders who are inspirational role models in their careers, achievements or community building. Autumn is currently the Vice President of Student Affairs for the University of Saskatchewan Students Union. She previously worked as an Emergency Receiving Home Worker and is dedicated to providing trauma informed care and education.

Nicole Tornquist
Nicole Tornquist(she/her) 26 – Cree - The Pas, MB
Tansi, my name is Nicole Tornquist, my pronouns are she/her I am a 26-year-old Indigenous woman from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. I graduated high school from Margaret Barbour Collegiate.

I then continued my education at University College of the North and completed my Business Administration majoring in Management. I am a National Ambassador of Hope for We Matter, a Reconcilliaton Ambassador and Exchange Champion for Experiences Canada, Manitoba 150 Youth Ambassador and an Indigenous 150+ Youth Ambassador. In 2019 I was the successful Candidate for Junir Onekanew (Chief), I now have the great honors to proudly represent my community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

River Fayant
River Fayant(he/him) 27 – Métis
River Fayant is a 27-year-old, indigenous mental health advocate with We Matter from Edmonton, Alberta which resides on Treaty 6 territory.

River is an indigenous two- spirit of Metis and Cree descent, and is pronoun indifferent. River was adopted at an early age but has still remained connected to their indigenous heritage and culture. River has been out and proud to their family since they were sixteen years old. River is currently a student at MacEwan University and whose ambition is to become a social worker. River enjoys volunteering with the homeless, and underprivileged youth, geocaching and gardening.

Nkikaxni Grismer
Nkikaxni Grismer(she/her) 19 – Nlaka'pamux Nation
Nkikaxni is from the Nlaka’pamux nation in the interior of B.C. She is completing her diploma at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in general arts.

At NVIT she is youth representative for the Board of Governors, as well as the Education Council. Her passion is fighting for Aboriginal rights and hopes to pursue a career to help fight for equality for everyone. You can often find her on the ice playing hockey, on the ball diamond, in the box playing lacrosse, or on the field playing field lacrosse or rugby.

John Peters
John Peters(he/him) 26 – Fox Lake Cree Nation
My name is John Peters, I am the son of Isabel and John Peters, Grandson to Zachariah and Beth Mayham and Stanley and Sarah Peters.

I am an Inninu Napew (Cree Man) from Makeso Sakahikan (Fox Lake.) I currently work for Fox Lake Cree Nation developing and implementing recreation and wellness programming and organizing community events. I am strongly passionate about mental health education/awareness, learning my language, indigenous youth empowerment, and health and nutrition.

Rosalynn Alook
Rosalynn Alook(She/Her) – 21 – First Nation – Peace River, AB
My name is Rosalynn Alook; I am a 20 year old cree woman from Peerless Trout First Nation. I live in Peace River, where I raise a 3 year old boy named Carter Alook on my own.

My education is in social work; and I now work as a prevention/outreach specialist for KTC children and family services. I am passionate about helping others. More specifically, I am passionate about helping indigenous families and youths. Luckily, I get to do that everyday in my practice.

Chyler Sewell
Chyler Sewell(she/her) 17 – Garden River First Nation
Chyler Sewell is an Anishinaabekwe youth from Garden River, currently living in Hamilton, Ontario. She tells the stories of her people through written works and the organizing she does within her communities.

As an Ambassador of Hope with We Matter, Chyler brings presentations of Hope, Culture and Strength to Indigenous youth throughout the Toronto-Hamilton region. She’s driven by the possibilities of reclaiming and recreating spaces for Indigenous youth existence, where they can exist surrounded by love.

Marshall Morrisseau
Marshall Morrisseau(Him/They/Them) 23 – Cree & Metis - Brandon, MB
Tansi my name is Marshall Morrisseau. I am First Nations Cree Metis and currently reside in Brandon, Manitoba. I attend University here studying my undergraduate degree for the purpose of pursuing law.

I am involved with a community organization Brandon Bear Clan Patrol where I coordinate the youth patrol. This opportunity lets me build positive relationships in the community and help those in need. My biggest goal in life is to help all my relations in a meaningful way and ensure that the next seven generations are agents of culture and traditional worldviews.

Danika Vessel
Danika Vessel(She/They) 27 – Métis - HaileyBury, ON
Danika Vessel was born and raised in a small community in Northern Ontario and identifies as Métis with mixed settler ancestry.

Danika has completed her BA in Psychology and Indigenous Studies, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Counselling Psychology with Yorkville University. Danika is passionate about Indigenous rights and mental health and believes that mental health services must be made available to all Indigenous peoples immediately. Danika hopes that one day she can help make mental health services easily accessible to Indigenous peoples living in remote communities and help end the stigma around mental health disorders by creating culturally appropriate practices with Elders and Indigenous Healers.

Savannah Pierre-Weenie
Savannah Pierre-Weenie(She/Her) 18 – Cree & Okanagan - North Battleford, SK
Savannah Pierre-Weenie is of Cree and Okanagan lineage. She grew up in Sweetgrass First Nation, but currently resides in North Battleford Saskatchewan.

She’s 18 years old, and graduated from North Battleford Comprehensive High School (NBCHS). She is currently enrolled in the aesthetics program at the Atoskewin success centre. She Is the eldest of 8 children. Her hobbies include Painting, Photography, Beading, Dancing, and Archery. She is honoured to have had a traditional upbringing, and enjoy learning from her grandparents on both sides. She also feels very blessed to have the opportunity to be a role model to her younger siblings, cousins, and friends. She has had many opportunities to explore the world around her. She aspires to be Leader for First Nations People in the field of Education. One day, her dream is for her journey to come full circle, as she prepares to lead the next generations, they will lead her.  Hiy Hiy, nanaskomon kakiyaw!

Gage Perley
Gage Perley(He/Him) 24 – Maliseet and Mi’kmaq - Tobique First Nation, NB
Gage Perley is a Wolastoqiyik & Mi’kmaq artist from fron Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), New Brunswick. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Native Studies and Criminology from St. Thomas University.

He is passionate about the arts, a multimedia artist who has filmed one Documentary and has had his artwork displayed in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Gage is also passionate about Indigenous issues such as systemic racism, education, health (mainly diabetes education & mental health) and Youth empowerment. 

Kendel Potskin
Kendel Potskin(she/her) 21 – Cree & Métis - Edmonton, AB
Kendel Potskin is an Ambassador of Hope for the We Matter campaign and has been a professional Métis dancer for the Edmonton Métis Traditional Dancers based out of Edmonton for 5+ years.

Kendel has taught over 100 cultural workshops and performed in over 75 different communities with the Edmonton Métis Traditional Dancers. Kendel is a role-model and advocate for Indigenous youth whom, over the course of her 5-year career, has developed a skill set directly relevant to teach about Hope, Culture and Strength, including creative thinking, leadership, and lesson planning. Overall, Kendel has consistently demonstrated her abilities as a public figure and as a Youth Worker for East Haven Home, Youth Career Motivator for East Prairie Métis Settlement, and an Executive Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator for the Alberta Indigenous Games; all of which are Indigenous owned and operated businesses.

Gabrielle Jubinville
Gabrielle Jubinville(She/Her/They/Them) 24 – Cree - Brandon, MB
Tansi, my name is Gabrielle. I am currently enrolled in a 4-year degree in Native Studies and minor in Sociology: mainstream Crime and Community.

My goal for university is to achieve a higher education and help people achieve their highest successes. I am striving towards becoming a professional basketball player, I have one year left of playing University basketball. Basketball has been a part of my journey since I was a little girl at the age of 8 years old and has given me the opportunity to travel the world such as New York and Mississippi for school. Basketball was my outlet when times were tough in my life and I believe that sport can truly help Indigenous youth achieve their dreams and can even help them live a better life.

Jessica Teiotsistohkwáthe Lazare
Jessica Teiotsistohkwáthe LazareShe/Her/They/Them - 27 - Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) – Kahnawà:ke, QC
I am an onkwehonwe (original people/Indigenous) woman from the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory of Kahnawà:ke. I am a mother of two boys, and I am currently enrolled at Concordia University.

My interests are public policy & First Peoples studies, the Mohawk language, as well as painting. I advocate for collective approaches in community work, and platforms for youth. It’s important for me to create safe spaces for sharing ideas and expressions of differences as I work through the many roles that I have throughout my community, as well as incorporating Mohawk cultural values within different contexts.

Tagalik Eccles
Tagalik EcclesShe/Her/They/Them - 27 - Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) – Kahnawà:ke, QC
I am an Inuk living in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. I am a Law student in the Nunavut Law Program. I work with Ilitaqsiniq, an organization that offers non-formal, community based, embedded literacy programs that are immersed in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

(Inuit knowledge and epistemology) working with individuals who are often forgotten or marginalized by society. The program I created Nukariit, works to support young girls in the community, reflective of Inuit traditional ways of teaching and learning with a modern twist of embedding literacy and essential skills. As a former member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council I was able to share the viewpoint and lens of life in Canada from an Inuit perspective, a voice that is often left out at national discussions.

Georgina Johnston
Georgina JohnstonShe/Her – 22 – Squamish – Burnaby, BC
Georgina is a 22 year old non-status woman from the Squamish Nation. Georgina has recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University.

She will be pursuing her education and career goals with SFU’s PDP (teacher education program) where she plans to become an elementary school teacher. As an aspiring teacher, her goal is to teach Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike about Indigenous history and culture, and create spaces within the education system to insert Indigeneity.  She is passionate about seeing young Indigenous people reclaim their cultural identities and traditions, and to be proud to be Indigenous. She is also passionate about reclaiming her Indigeneity through learning the Skwxwú7mesh Sníchim (language), songs and dances.

Shayla Sayer-Brabant
Shayla Sayer-Brabant She/Her/They/Them - 27 - Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) – Kahnawà:ke, QC
I am an onkwehonwe (original people/Indigenous) woman from the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory of Kahnawà:ke. I am a mother of two boys, and I am currently enrolled at Concordia University.

My interests are public policy & First Peoples studies, the Mohawk language, as well as painting. I advocate for collective approaches in community work, and platforms for youth. It’s important for me to create safe spaces for sharing ideas and expressions of differences as I work through the many roles that I have throughout my community, as well as incorporating Mohawk cultural values within different contexts.