AFN National Youth Council
AFN Special Chiefs Assembly Update - December 2014
The AFN National Youth Council (AFN NYC) operates as a 20-member council representing First Nations youth from each of the 10 AFN regions (each region has one male and one female representative).
This national body, based within the structure of the AFN, represents First Nations youth across the country on issues that impact them on a daily basis. The NYC provides insight to the AFN committees and working groups, as well as the AFN secretariat on various youth-related issues.
Key Issues and Activities
5th AFN National Youth Summit
The AFN NYC hosted the 5th National Youth Summit on July 13, 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The summit was held in keeping with AFN Resolution 39/2013 which calls for the AFN NYC to coordinate yearly youth summits. Youth from all 10 regions represented by the AFN attended the summit.
The theme for this year’s summit focused on the notion of engagement. Increased and more meaningful engagement with First Nation youth was a priority identified at the 4th AFN National Youth Summit. The AFN NYC delivered two presentations to the youth in attendance. The first presentation provided an overview of the NYC’s history, role within the AFN and other priorities that were identified through last year’s summit. A second presentation focused on the work that had been carried out by the AFN NYC around engagement and included an overview of the recently completed First Nations Youth Engagement Framework.
Youth were also given sets of questions with each presentation. The questions were used to elicit discussion and collect feedback and input from the participants. This information will be used to shape the priorities that will guide a new AFN NYC Action Plan, as well as how to further the work already underway around engagement with First Nation youth.
The final part of the day was devoted to youth developing messages around Education, the Changing Needs and Realities of First Nations Governments, Action and Engagement, and Emerging Issues. The AFN NYC then shared these messages directly with leadership at the AFN Annual General Assembly which followed the summit as well as through a video they produced and shared on social media.
4Rs Youth Movement
The AFN NYC is currently engaged with the 4Rs Youth Movement. This movement began as a collaboration of five national youth-serving organizations, six national Aboriginal organizations and three national charitable foundations, in Canada. The movement has grown and now includes several new partners.
Through this youth-to-youth initiative, the desire is to deepen understanding of our common heritage, to challenge prevailing views of the contribution and potential of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians, and to forge a new path forward together. Substantial efforts have been put forth, by all involved, to find a common vision and mission statement to guide the efforts of this movement. In the coming months, guided by the vision of this collaborative, the movement hopes to further define activities that this group will collectively carry out. These activities will reflect the vision as well the goal of forging a new path forward together.
The AFN NYC continues to lead the way on this important initiative which seeks to make our communities healthier. Another successful run/walk was held at this year’s Annual General Assembly in Halifax. More health-driven activities and initiatives are planned for this year’s Special Chiefs Assembly and in the months to come.
Next Steps - Moving Forward
- The AFN NYC will continue to share their engagement plan widely and build upon their work in an effort to facilitate engagement of First Nation youth across a variety of sectors.
- The AFN NYC will complete its 5-Year Action Plan to address the issues and priorities that were identified and discussed at the past two youth summits.
- The AFN NYC will continue to engage with the 4Rs Youth Movement and contribute to the development of the overall vision and subsequent activities.
- The AFN NYC will work to maintain a visible and substantial presence within the activities, meetings and conferences that are conducted through the AFN Secretariat and its various sub-committees and working groups.