The Hope Council is an advisory group of amazing Indigenous youth leaders behind the ideas, content, and vision of We Matter! The council was created in Spring 2018, after We Matter & Facebook’s 2018 #HopeForum: A National Gathering of Indigenous Youth Leaders on Healing & Life Promotion.
Hope Council members are between the ages of 13-25, represent various First Nation, Metis and Inuit regions across the country, and are Ambassadors of We Matter’s messaging. As an Indigenous and youth-led organization committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion, We Matter’s Hope Council provides ideas, review, consultation, and feedback on We Matter’s social media content, materials and resources, and activities to ensure that everything we do is relevant and representative of youth across contexts.
Click youth names to learn more about them!
Jaylene Delorme Buggins is Chipewyan/Cree from Yellowknives Dene First Nation and lives in Hay River NWT. Jaylene is the National Youth Rep for the Native Woman’s Association Of Canada (NWAC); the North Regional Rep and the NWT Youth Rep for the Native Woman’s Association Of the NWT. She is also a NWT Youth Ambassador for the GNWT & is part of the Young Women’s Leadership Council.
At 24 years old Jaylene is a strong and inspiring voice for young Indigenous girls and 2 Spirited people. Jaylene is culturally connected and ties her culture into her facilitation work, and is starting to learn her language from her father. As a recovering addict, she advocates for awareness on mental health issues, addictions and teen suicide. She had to endure many hardships in life to get to where she is today, so she brings a powerful unique voice and insight to the table for youth across Canada through both her experiences and her healing journey.
Lianna is an Inuk youth from Labrador. She is passionate about mental wellness and suicide prevention, indigenous rights, cultural continuity, youth matters, feminism and the environment.
Being a suicide attempt survivor herself as well as having lost her brother to suicide, she uses her first- hand experience to advocate for and support those with similar experiences. She has spoken on the importance of including Inuit voices while creating solutions for Inuit suicide in the House of Commons (through Daughters of the Vote), at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla of the United Kingdom. She aims to empower youth through speaking and connecting with them at events such as suicide prevention and life promotion events, youth gatherings, and through her involvement in the Friendship Centre Movement.
Lianna feels strongly that mental wellness and suicide prevention for all ages can be achieved in many ways including: through cultural continuity, the development of healthy communities, the empowerment of youth, and through organizations like We Matter.
Adriana Pack is a young woman who has dedicated her life to helping others. She is originally from Miawpukek First Nations Reserve in Newfoundland. Adriana is a member of the National Association of Friendship Centres Aboriginal Youth Council. As well, she attends Memorial University and is working towards her Bachelor of Nursing degree. She volunteers with Memorial University Global Brigades and participates every year in the medical/dental/public health brigades in Honduras. She sits on the MUN Global Brigades Medical/Dental/Public Health Brigade executive committee as the Vice President of Public Health. She also holds the position of the Campus Chairperson for Global Brigades at MUN and acts as a liaison between the Global Brigades National organization and the chapters at her university. In addition, she is a Research Assistant for a Research Project under the Bioethics Faculty at MUN studying Aboriginal Patient as well as immigrant and refugee experiences within Eastern Health. Moreover, she volunteers at her local friendship centre.
Aaniin! My name is Joy Davis and I am from Alderville First Nation. I am a proud anishinaabekwe and a part of the Bear Clan. I am a fancy shawl dancer. I am in my fourth year at Trent University in a Joint Major in Indigenous Studies and International Development. I love We Matter and all the people who have made such a difference with it. Miigwech & Baamaapii.
Olivia Haines is young Dakelh and Shuswap woman from the Interior of BC. Her mother is a Dakelh woman. Her Father is a Shuswap man. Olivia has only recently found her roots and she is learning a lot about herself as a young First Nation woman. She’s becoming more aware about her traditions and where she’s from. She is learning her language slowly, and learning to be a traditional drummer, learning songs and how to drum. Olivia is becoming more involved in her communities, she goes to classes and gatherings everywhere and anywhere she can, so she can gain knowledge on different things and can use the tools that they provide so she can learn to manage some more difficult things in her life. She has gone through tough times and she is now on her healing journey, ready to help where she can.
Hi, my name is Lillian Angnatok, I am Inuit from Nain, Nunatsiavut or Newfoundland and Labrador. I have always wanted to be there for youth and work with youth, and I hope in joining the We Matter youth hope council I can be the help to better our country for all Indigenous youth.
Matthew Bombardier is a Métis person from Ontario. He is a beadwork and quillwork artist and is very passionate about We Matter and Youth Empowerment.
Josh Crawley is a youth from Niagara Falls, Ontario, of proud Cayuga and Turtle clan. Josh is currently the youth consultant of We Matter’s Youth Leaders Toolkits and valedictorian graduate of The Soaring Eagles alternative school. Josh wishes to help and be a part of his community as much as he can, learning more about his culture, people, history, and ancestors, which is what brought him to be a part of We Matter and the Hope Council.
My given name is Jaime Fortin and my spirit name is Circling White Eagle. I identify as Anishinaabe Kwe but grew up on a Cree Reserve in Northern Ontario, called Chapleau Cree First Nation. I am going into my final year at Trent University and I am in the process of obtaining a major in Indigenous studies with a minor in Gender Studies and an emphasis in Law and Policy. I was fortunate to be able to grow up on the reserve with close ties to the land and my culture. As I have learned though, many Indigenous people do not have these opportunities to learn their culture and traditions which is one of the reasons I am passionate about Indigenous issues and working within First Nation communities.
Cody Coyote was born on April 17th, 1992, raised in Ottawa, Ontario, and is of
Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nation. With his fusion of strong, profound lyricism accompanied by corresponding influential sounds, this Hip-Hop/Electronic artist and songwriter grasps his listeners attention in various ways and delivers a mesmerizing performance.
“He’s a rapper with a powerful message…” – CBC’s All In A Day
While being actively engaged in the industry for over 4 years, Cody Coyote’s journey includes being up for nominations in the “Best Rap/Hip-Hop CD” and the “Single Of The Year” categories at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards as well as the “Best Music Video” category at the 2018 Indigenous Music Awards.
“Cody Coyote – Introducing an Indigenous Voice in Canadian Music” – Globe and Mail
Since then his career has brought him to platforms such as the Juno showcase held at the Ottawa Music Summit on March 30th, 2017, the National Arts Centre on January 25th, 2018 and Westfest 2018 as a headliner. Cody Coyote’s most recent album release titled “Mamawi” means “All Together” in Anishinaabemowin. “Mamawi” reflects in a manner to initiate positive change through togetherness, love and unity. Cody is also an advocate for Indigenous youth, using his personal experiences to inspire and empower others to break cycles and follow their dreams.
I’m from Chilliwack, B.C and I live on Vancouver Island. I take strong interest in motivating people because I learned how to grow from my depression at an early age. I’m a walking dreamer, an active observer of life, that’s what kept me going through life knowing I have such wonderful dreams and it never stops. I enjoy enlightening people with their craziest dreams that they can come true if you just put some effort into it. I have enrolled in college, moving toward political science because I don’t like the lack of representation, and it all started with the We Matter Hope Forum. In my past I had a lot of circumstances that I had toxic people who I felt took my voice away, so when I had the opportunity to stand up and speak I knew that it was now or never, I had a safe place where I knew I would finally be heard. Ever since my life has been at an all time high. I worked hard for the moments I have. STAY HOPEFUL.
My name is Misiksk Jadis. I am 21 years old and I was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. I am of Mi’kmaq descent and later adopted into the Blackfoot culture. I have lived on Blackfoot territory for 16 years, during this time I have attended the University of Lethbridge where I studied Native American Studies and Anthropology. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as someone who has also struggled with mental illness, it has always been my dream to join with other Indigenous youth from around the country to create a safe environment where we can protect and preserve our culture while also celebrating our own individuality and heritage.
RaeAnne Harper is a 24 year old Plains Cree Indigenous woman with Metis roots from Onion Lake Cree Nation Saskatchewan in Treaty Six Territory. Currently living in Lloydminster, RaeAnne is the current Aboriginal Youth Council President elected in July of 2017. She started her passion in her local friendship centre as a participant then as a staff member then growing into political representative positions, gaining skills from various seats she’s had the privilege to sit on locally, provincially and nationally. She’s hoping to work as a liaison between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people or continue working in non-profit centres and organizations. RaeAnne has advocated for urban indigenous youth at all levels and plans to continue throughout her journey.
Working in friendship centres, RaeAnne has worked for Youth by coordinating youth programs and camps for at-risk urban indigenous youth, provided workshops for youth on heritage, culture teachings, human rights and friendship centre awareness, as well as advocated for friendship centre youth at various national conferences and events.
My name is Kindra Bernard, I am 21 years old and I grew up in a small community known as Abegweit First Nation in Prince Edward Island. I recently graduated from Holland College as a Kinesiology Major. My life goal has been creating a voice for those who no longer have one and bridging the gap between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population. I am a Mi`kmaq woman who takes great pride in my community, culture and traditions. Growing up in a community that struggles with addictions, abuse and mental health issues has opened my eyes from a young age. We need to break the stigma surrounding Indigenous people and mental health and create support systems that allow our people to succeed and strive. I want to live in a world that empowers youth to use their voice to make a change, not only for the current generations, but the generations to come as well.
My name is Dakota Laliberte! I identify as a 2-Spirit Being and Metis. I am from a small community of Ile-a-la-Crosse which is situated in Northern Saskatchewan. My current occupation is Primary Care Paramedic which I offer Emergency Services to all of the North-West Saskatchewan. It has been a personal journey of mine to aid people not only in health but in other aspects which makes a person whole. I also am the Saskatchewan Youth Rep for the National Association of Friendship Centres and along with this opportunity, I can help people on a much larger scale. For myself I love exercise, acting, music, the outdoors, and I am slowly but surely reconnecting with my culture.
I’m Matthew Wesley from Atlin, B.C. I am 18 years old and currently a dance group member of the Taku Kwaan Dancers, the former youthspokesperson of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, and like an Elder said “I’m a leader”. Gunalcheesh!