Leah and Martine
Facilitators of the “The Power To Be/Le pouvoir d’être” workshop:
Youth Facilitator Leah Belle (left) and Youth Facilitator Martine Fortin

Collège Boréal and the Sudbury District Health Unit partnered together to offer two interactive workshops during the Canadian Roots Exchange’s Fourth Annual National Youth Conference on March 17 to 19 in Sudbury.

The workshops, titled “The Power To Be/Le pouvoir d’être,” involved two up-and-coming Métis musicians, MNO citizen Leah Belle and self-identified Métis Martine Fortin, interacting with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from across Canada. Leah is a rising star who has already won several awards, including first place in the 12 and under category of the 2015 Café Music Festival in Azilda and first place in the N’Swakamok Aboriginal Idol competition in 2014.

The workshops’ goals were to empower youth and make them realize their potential and the endless possibilities to achieve anything they desire. According to their website, the Canadian Roots Exchange is “a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who believe that in order to bridge the gap between Canada’s peoples, we need to become educated and aware of the teachings, triumphs, and daily realities of our Indigenous communities.” They have hosted youth conferences since 2013.

In addition to “The Power To Be/Le pouvoir d’être,” the conference included experiential workshops focusing on reconciliation and treaty. Speakers at the conference inspired youth to take the lead and make positive changes in their respective communities.

The next Annual National Youth Conference will take place in Winnipeg in March 2017.

Published on: April 1, 2016