A Council meeting was held in Corner Brook on Thursday, July 23. Pictured here, new Youth Representative Salome Barker signs the oath of office with Chief Brendan Mitchell and Elder Odelle Pike looking on.
“I’m very honoured and privileged to have a seat on the Qalipu Council as a youth councillor. I’m excited to bring so many Indigenous youths voices to the table and continue to uplift their voices and ideas. There are countless Mi’kmaq youth across the province who are doing tremendous work in cultural revitalization, supporting their communities and making positive change for future generations to come. I do believe that Qalipu youth are the future of Qalipu First Nation and it’s incredibly important to hear us and continue to make room for our voices. I know that I have the support from Mi’kmaq youth within our youth network and that they will be by my side throughout this journey. I’m looking forward to this new position and will have the youth as my top priority. Thank you for this opportunity. Msit No’kmaq.”
The Youth designed their own election code in which the responsibilities of the Youth Representative, elected for a one-year term, are as follows:
- Form and maintain a Youth Advisory Network.
- Lead the planning activities for the Youth Gathering.
- Represent the youth voice at the Qalipu First Nation Band Council.
- Carry forward recommendations to the Qalipu First Nation Band Council that arise from the annual Youth Gathering.
- Attend meetings of the Qalipu First Nation Band Council (estimated at six meetings per year).
- Report back to the Youth Advisory Network after Qalipu First Nation Band Council meetings.
- Establish and maintain a social media space for the Youth Advisory Network.
- Serve as an ambassador of Qalipu’s Youth Members.
- Be open-minded and listen to other ideas.
- Be respectful.
- Engage Indigenous youth.
- Represent the Qalipu First Nation at events where required.
- Facilitate discussions among the Youth Advisory Network to generate ideas, projects, and programs.
- Be active in local community groups.
- Get involved with local schools and engage youth at that level.
The youth election held at the inaugural Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk (youth gathering) last fall included the election of an Alternate Youth Representative to share the duties of the role or step up in the absence of the elected representative. Following the resignation of Youth Representative Jessica Saunders in June, Alternate Youth Representative Salome Barker will now take the youth seat on Council.
Salome will hold the seat until the next youth gathering which is scheduled to take place again later in the fall if gatherings are permitted.