OHSWEKEN – Approximately 30 youth from the territory gathered at Six Nations Polytechnic this weekend for the 2015 Six Nations Youth Gathering.
Youth aged 13-24 came together for the day’s events. Motivational speaker Earl Lambert was invited to speak to the youth about empowerment with the message, “Nobody can take your voice away.”
Youth were taken through icebreaker games and then invited to identify points in the community they feel are issues.
Six Nations Elected Councilor Mark Hill shared his excitement about the youth coming together. “We’re listing out issues and problems that the youth see at Six Nations and we’re also going into the resources that exist and what can we do to solve the problems that exist so far,”said Hill
Hill shared that empowering the youth of Six Nations is the main purpose of the gathering. He said, “They are the next leaders of tomorrow. So we want to make sure that they are engaged, that we are hearing them, that we’re getting their feedback. That was part of establishing the Six Nations Youth Council is to try and have that voice because there are so many factions out there and groups. We wanted to try and bring them all together and have one unified voice while not excluding anyone – and it’s going really well.”
There are currently eight members of the Six Nations Youth Council. Currently, they are working on a Six Nations Waste Less project. Hill says, “Our main project is the Six Nations Waste Less project, encouraging youth to promote the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s throughout the year you’ll see different events set up in the community to promote those initiatives.”
Hill says that inviting youth to see how a band council meeting goes is one other initiative they’d like to open to youth in the community.
“We want to invite the youth to attend a council meeting to see how it operates – to keep youth involved in the community, to see how we operate. We need to keep our young people involved. Especially with things like the dump crisis. It’s our responsibility.”