The Importance Of Supporting Youth to Become Change Leaders

Oki, my name is Tyra Cross Child. My Blackfoot name is Tailfeather Woman. I am from the Blood Tribe but was raised in Medicine Hat, AB. I am 20 years old and attend the University of Calgary in the International Indigenous Studies program. I am passionate about the youth, education, and connecting with others.

I am the summer student program assistant for Canada Bridges. I led the Girls Empowerment group out in Siksika Nation, where we had the honor to facilitate workshops, host hangout activities and learn more and more about each young woman that participated in the group. As a young woman myself, it was a big learning experience and it brought me out of my comfort zone and gave me more confidence in myself.  

I am starting a Tutoring Initiative with my mentor Dilene Mugenzi. Dilene came to me with the idea of starting a tutoring initiative for Indigenous youth on reserve. We want to help high school youth that are struggling with their studies. I am also in the new youth-led leadership initiative called Indigenous Rising Treaty 7, where we support youth with any projects they have or want to start in their home communities.  

I think all of this work is so important because Canada Bridges gives so much support for Indigenous youth. As a youth myself, I have been supported greatly because of the many great programs Canada Bridges has to offer. I am thankful I was chosen to be a part of the Canada Bridges team.

At the 2019 AYE event I had the opportunity to share my story about my struggle with Anxiety.  I had so much support and encouragement to share my story and I think this event lifted a weight off my shoulders and made me realize I was not alone. This event is one of the many reasons why I value the work of Canada Bridges.  

I love to see youth thrive and be successful. Indigenous youth are needed as change leaders in their communities. Canada Bridges provides leadership support and makes change leadership possible on Treaty 7 land.  


Support Change Leaders with the Shaw Birdies for Kids Program! Your $10 donation can grow into as much as $30 for Canada Bridges. Last chance to make your tax deductible donation by Sunday, August 30!