Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership of a change to the Council makeup following the resignation of Youth Representative Jessica Saunders late last week. The youth election held at the inaugural Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk (youth gathering) also 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. Alternate Youth Representative Salome Barker will now take the youth seat on Council.
Saunders noted that her family commitments made it difficult to dedicate herself fully to the role of Youth Representative but that she has appreciated her time on Council and hopes to be involved again in the future when her son is older.
She said, “I am very grateful for the kindness you guys have shown me and Leo, and I am sure that I will see you all again. I wish you all many blessings and joy. Thank you so much”
Salome Barker, also from central Newfoundland, is looking forward to the new role. She expressed gratitude for all the work Jessica has done and talked about her vision for working with Council.
“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.
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.