Tell us a bit about yourself - who are you?
My name is Cory Beaver, and I am Nakoda from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, also known as Iyarhe Nakoda. I am a dancer, performer, artist, and youth advocate. I’ve danced professionally for 10+ years as it's one of my main passions. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, just kidding… I find hiking very healing, so I love it because it gives me a sense of connection to my ancestors. I would say I’m a bit of an introvert but tend to step out of my comfort zone quite often.
What brings you to join Canada Bridges?
I have been involved with Canada Bridges in some capacity for more than 4 years. I worked with Canada Bridges briefly in 2018/19 for 6 months as a program assistant for their Mentorship Program. However, I felt like I wasn't fully present because I was involved with another organization at the time planning the Sevengen: Indigenous Student Energy Summit 2019.
What is important about the work that you will be doing and why?
The work I will be doing is important because youth must be involved or encouraged towards creating change. I often hear about how young people are essential, especially in my community. We are in a time where youth are gaining agency and are vocal because more organizations are doing youth work or work that involves a youth voice or perspective. It is about encouragement, engagement, and empowerment.
What do you hope to see for the community in the future?
I hope to see more people come together, with more inclusiveness among youth and Indigenous people and the community. Change takes time. Whatever goal I work towards for Indigenous Rising Treaty Seven isn’t going to happen overnight but I'm hoping it’s impactful. I am also hoping to see it grow to something so great that it could potentially become a separate organization in the future.
Why is youth leadership and/or Indigenous youth leadership needed especially right now?
It seems to me that strong leadership is crucial. The pandemic has impacted the mental health of people not able to connect in person. It is important to continue connecting with youth to help with the stress of not being able to see each other in person. Just cause the world stopped or slowed down doesn’t mean we stop supporting youth and the causes that are important to us.