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NWAC sees Indigenous youth as the leaders of change with unique voices that must be heard when leading change at the regional, national, and international level.
NWAC’s Youth Advocacy and Development Unit (YADU) is formed of Indigenous youth committed to advancing the well-being of young Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA youth. Launched in March 2018, YADU plays a vital role in engaging with Indigenous youth between 13 and 30 to develop specific projects, policies, and programs directed at Indigenous youth. YADU currently runs the Generation for Equality (G4E) platform where Indigenous youth can access information, ask questions, and connect with other Indigenous youth.
In Canada, Indigenous youth make up nearly half of the population under the age of 241, but continue to face issues in accessing mental health services, employment, educational support, and culturally appropriate resources. Indigenous youth also experience elevated levels of suicide risk, which is magnified among First Nations females and 2SLGBTQQIA Indigenous youth.
Despite international calls to include Indigenous youth in key discussions, their voices are still excluded from important conversations. The exclusion of Indigenous youth only leads to further isolation at a time when their voices should play a vital role in shaping future societal changes.
References & Citations
Statistics Canada, March 2018. “First Nations People, Métis and Inuit in Canada: Diverse and Growing Populations”.