Meet the Voices of Youth Indigenous Leaders 2022 participants
September 23, 2022
On September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours those who survived Indian residential schools, their families and the children who never made it home.
To mark the first anniversary of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, five Indigenous youths have been invited to testify before the Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples about what Truth and Reconciliation means to them.
These youths are participating in the Voices of Youth Indigenous Leaders program, which spotlights young Indigenous peoples who are making a difference in their communities.
Read more about this year’s Voices of Youth Indigenous Leaders participants.
Meghan Beals (First Nations – Nova Scotia)
Dr. Meghan Beals is a Mi’kmaw from Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia who currently lives on Epekwitk (Prince Edward Island). She works as a family medicine resident in New Brunswick and P.E.I. As an Indigenous physician, she strives toward reconciling Western and Indigenous medicines. She is looking forward to continuing to share her journey to becoming a physician with Indigenous youth and hopefully become a role model.
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza (First Nations – British Columbia)
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza is a proud Dene woman from the Fort Nelson and Prophet River First Nations in British Columbia Treaty 8 territory. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education with a major in physical literacy and double minor in Indigenous studies and business. She is the community liaison for Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal and is serving as the female youth representative for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations. She was co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council in 2021–22. As an intergenerational survivor and youth advocate, Taylor speaks on reconciliation across the country. She had the privilege to travel to the Vatican in March 2022 to speak with Pope Francis on the Catholic Church’s role in reconciliation. Taylor is thankful for the teachings and stories passed down to her by her grandparents, parents and survivors in her family and community. She is guided by their resilience and hope in the future generations.
Gabrielle Fayant (Métis – Alberta)
Gabrielle Fayant is an off-settlement Métis woman, whose family is from Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta, one of the eight land-based Métis settlements in Canada. Gabrielle has won awards for her work in community, youth empowerment, and Indigenous rights awareness. She has worked with several Indigenous and non-profit organizations and is currently a Helper and Co-Founder of Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G). A7G is an Indigenous owned and youth-led, non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment programs and policies for Indigenous youth while being led by traditional knowledge and Elder guidance. Gabrielle is passionate about cultural resurgence and justice for all Indigenous peoples.
Jama Maxie (First Nations – Saskatchewan)
Originally from White Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan, Jama grew up in the child welfare system in Toronto. He is now a full-time student studying psychology at York University who also works as an addiction counselor at Addiction Rehab Toronto. He is currently developing a youth advisory circle for Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services. He does public speaking for Indigenous children aid agencies across the province. Jama was inspired to get involved with this work because of his lived experience in the child welfare system and overcoming his battle with addiction. He works as hard as he does so that he can help Indigenous youth find hope.
Tyrone Sock (First Nations – New Brunswick)
Tyrone is the youth coordinator for Mawiw Council Inc, a non-profit organization that supports the development of the three largest First Nation communities in New Brunswick. His latest project is the development of a hockey camp for over 60 Indigenous youth aged six to 15. The purpose of the annual hockey camp is to honour the legacy of his late father/coach, Craig “Jumbo” Sock, but also to give back to the local communities and to teach the youth the benefits of hockey — including teamwork, leadership and healthy attributes such as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.