On January 21st and 22nd, 2018, 70 First Nations, Metis and Inuit youth between the ages of 13-26 from every province and territory across the country gathered in Ottawa, Ontario for the #HopeForum: A National Gathering of Indigenous Youth Leaders on Healing & Life Promotion. The #HopeForum was hosted by We Matter and Facebook, and was the first ever national event for Indigenous youth focused on mental health, suicide and wellness. The gathering was made up of two parts: two days of workshops and relationship-building for youth participants, and a National Indigenous Youth Roundtable event which welcomed the general public, media, and dignitaries to engage with the youth in a livestreamed discussion.
Workshop sessions allowed youth to explore their own needs as advocates and leaders of change, as well as identify specific ways to support their own wellbeing alongside the wellbeing of fellow youth. It also provided an opportunity for young leaders to lead the discussion surrounding healing on their own terms, as well as identify a set of Calls to Action – actionable solutions and recommendations for change at the community and national level.