Perspectives of Indigenous Youth: Ongoing Effects of Colonization and Paths Forward

All people living in Canada must turn their attention to the current realities and experiences of young Indigenous people because reconciliation is foundational to achieving equity for all. It is important that we continue to have these conversations and consider the impacts of Indigenous racism  on  Indigenous youth. The social impact sector has an important role to play in working towards reconciliation and anti-racism. The conversation and commitment to Indigenous anti-racism action continues here. 

What do Indigenous youth want the non-Indigenous community to know about them? How can the social impact sector better engage with Indigenous youth? What does it look like to act as an ally for Indigenous youth? The first step in this journey is to listen and most importantly to listen to learn. 


  • To learn about Indigenous racism from the perspectives of local youth

  • Understand the intergenerational trauma inflicted by colonization and white supremacy on Indigenous families and specifically on Indigenous youth

  • Identify and develop strategies to reduce and eliminate the systemic barriers to authentic engagement and inclusion

  • For the non-Indigenous community to commit to real change and move towards genuine reconciliation with Indigneous youth, including steps we need to take personally and professionally to commit to action 


This learning opportunity was designed to serve as a tool for gaining awareness and understanding of the racism that Indigenous youth experience. The original design process behind this session was to work with Amanda Kennedy to engage a group of Indigenous youth who would then create the content and decide what they wanted to share. The last 6 months have been particularly challenging for Indigenous youth and we don’t want to cause additional harm and stress. We also know that the learning and unlearning still needs to take place and we need to continue to reflect on the racism of the past and present. In this session, Amanda with her many years of experience working with the youth will share her learnings from engaging with Indigenous youth.

Please note: Due to the personal nature of this session, it will not be recorded.


London & area nonprofit Executive Directors, CEOs, senior leaders and management, board members - individuals who are committed to action and willing to do the hard work needed.

Thank you to the following individuals who make up our Indigenous Advisory Committee and provided the Indigenous guidance and support to help design these learning opportunities. 

Joe Antone

Mary Alikakos

Amanda Kennedy

Frances Elizabeth Moore


And a special thank you to Amanda Kennedy for her role in helping us coordinate and facilitate this event.

Amanda Kennedy is a gifted Haudenosaunee (hau-de-no-sau-nee) educator and storyteller who brings people and communities together in the spirit of healing, truth, and reconciliation. Her talent for facilitating difficult conversations and educating through storytelling is evident in so much of her work. 

As the founder of two social enterprises, Yotuni (“it’s growing”) and Kuwahs^naha:wi (“they are name carrying for her”), she builds opportunities for Indigenous youth and women to thrive. The Yotuni program T.E.N. (Truth Empowering Nations) and Digital Hub connect Indigenous youth through camps, leadership programs, and an innovative online platform for expression, support, and traditional teachings.

Supporting this critical work, Amanda also runs the successful consulting business Kuwahs^naha:wi (“they are name carrying for her”) providing innovative education and training on decolonization and anti-racism to non-Indigenous audiences. She has presented at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Global Minds Collective at University of Western Ontario,, Brescia University, and EconoUs2019 (a gathering of 400 community leaders across Canada). The purpose of her work is to prepare youth and students to mentor and share teaching with others.

Thank you to the Canada Race Relations Foundation for their generous support of this learning opportunity. 


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