AFN National Youth Council
Annual Report 2016
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, a key organ of the AFN established in the Charter, 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
The NYC continues to support work within the AFN on mental wellness. This includes ongoing participation on the AFN Mental Wellness Committee and the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum – Implementation Team. The NYC also contributed a statement to the AFN’s press release recognizing various mental wellness awareness campaigns calling for more mobilization and engagement of youth around this issue, in their communities.
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 last year’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Montreal. A run/walk is among several activities planned for this year’s AGA in Niagara Falls.
AFN Youth Roundtable on Life Promotion & Suicide Prevention
A First Nation Youth Roundtable involving the AFN NYC, Regional Chief Morley Googoo and Health Minister Jane Philpott took place on June 8, 2016 in Ottawa.
The discussion at the roundtable formed the basis for the AFN NYC to develop “Calls to Action” which will be presented to Minister Philpot. The AFN NYC will share the “Calls to Action” with youth delegates at the AFN Youth Summit with the objective of having the “Calls to Action” endorsed by the youth in attendance. It is anticipated that the AFN NYC will then take those recommendations to the Chiefs-in-Assembly for formal recognition and support through resolution.
AFN Youth Summit
The AFN Youth Summit will take place on July 10, 2016 in advance of the Annual General Assembly. The summit will bring youth together to talk broadly about mental wellness. The Youth Summit would also provide youth with the opportunity to share ideas and to bring back resources and tools to support youth in their communities.
The Youth Summit will be focused on wellness and the social determinants of heath, allowing youth to learn, through the Knowledge Exchange sessions, about activities, tools and promising practices that effectively support youth so that they can bring these back to their communities. The skill building sessions would give young delegates the opportunity to learn specific practical skills and put these in practice in their communities. Finally, the tool building workshops will allow youth to create advocacy and educational tools that will be used by the AFN and shared with First Nation communities and organizations.
Next Steps - Moving Forward
- 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.
- The Calls to Action developed by youth and supported by a resolution from Chiefs-in-Assembly will be presented to Minister of Health, Jane Philpott.
- The AFN NYC will continue to support work on Mental Wellness, including through participation in the AFN Mental Wellness Committee and the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum – Implementation Team.