PCMNO Youth Representative speaks at the 2016 Rural Ontario Summit

Mitch Case_2016 Rural Ontario Summit
Mitch Case (far left) was invited to speak on a Civic
Leadership Panel at the second annual Rural Ontario
Summit. (L-R) Mitch Case, PCMNO Youth Representative
and MNO Youth Council President; Johanne Baril, Mayor of
Val Rita-Harty; Phil Winters, Founder of Winterbrook Hops;
and, Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and
Forestry. Click here to view a larger version of the picture.

This past June, the Ontario Ministry of Rural Affairs and Agriculture hosted the second annual Rural Ontario Summit (the Summit). The Summit is an opportunity for rural leaders and businesses to come together to discuss challenges and opportunities facing rural Ontario.

This year, there was a special focus on bringing youth leaders to the Summit. Attending on behalf of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) were President Margaret Froh and Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) Youth Representative and MNO Youth Council President Mitch Case.

In addition to participating in the activities and workshops throughout the day, Case was asked to speak on a Civic Leadership Panel (the Panel). The Panel was asked about best practices for engaging young people in civic leadership. Other panel members included: the Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; Johanne Baril, Mayor of Val Rita-Harty; and, Phil Winters, Founder of Winterbrook Hops.

The Panel was an excellent opportunity for sharing ideas and encouraging young people to take action in their communities. Case spoke about the strategies that he had used in the past as a student activist and those that the MNO Youth Council have used over the years to affect change in the MNO.

“What we have done is that we informed ourselves: we studied; we asked questions; we learned the system; we learned the people; we learned all we could,” said Case. “We made it so that we were so informed that we simply could not be ignored.”

Case concluded his remarks on the Panel with a statement he has been making since he became President of the MNO Youth Council: “All issues are youth issues. Every issue has the ability to impact young people either positively or negatively, so all issues are youth issues. This means youth have to be at the table and it means that we as young people have to step up. We have to step up and do our part. We have to be informed, not entitled, but by being informed, you are entitled to have an opinion and for it to be heard.” 

Published on: September 6, 2016

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