NAN Unveils Role Model Poster Series for Anti Bullying Initiative

The hopes of this project is to show youth in the NAN territory other youth's success as a means of inspiring, giving positive examples, sharing stories, and mentoring. WE all need positivity and hope as the National Chief shared with us yesterday. Our young people need to be safe, need to be healthy, and need to dream and live their lives to their fullest. This is a huge task for NAN since over 50% of our population in the NAN territory are under the age of 16.

The youth who are participating in the Poster Series are a true testimony to success that our youth have, and can have with some hard work, creativity, determination and a positive self esteem.

When given the opportunity to figure out how we can reach out to youth in the NAN territory, posters were decided as a method to educate communities on the issue of bullying and to profile some of our most successful youth.

By using our own youth, we show our own youth several things:

  • They are successfully contributing to society.
  • Their words and picture can motivate other youth.
  • Their image sends a strong message that Aboriginal youth are strong, and healthy.
  • NAN youth take a stance against bullying.
  • A life without violence is possible.

For many Aboriginal youth today, it is not uncommon that we face great difficulties. From an adult point of view, since I am no longer a youth, I see the issues that our youth face. When the police see more than one Native youth together in the streets, they sometimes are labeled being in a gang, our youth are labeled shy, our youth are also labeled at risk. Is this always true? I think that part of empowering our youth is standing strong, and showing that we can do many things. Not just what the mainstream society wants us to be.

When the call out for the poster series took place, youth were nominated by a community member or leadership.

All youth met the following criteria:

  • Were an inspiration to someone
  • Lived a life without violence
  • Mentored other youth
  • Had a positive attitude

It gives me great honour to introduce the youth selected      

  • Catherine Cheechoo, Moose Cree
  • Duane Moonias, Neskantaga
  • Rebecca Kakegakumic, Sandy Lake
  • Christina Morris, Wagoshig
  • Kevin Kakegamic, Keewaywin
  • Amy Iserhoff, Ginogaming
  • Rachael Yesno, Fort Hope
  • Darren Spence, Marten Falls
  • Paige Mawakeesic, Sioux Lookout
  • Jon Lazarus, Moose Cree

Click here to see some pictures from the Embrace Life gathering in Thunder Bay, March 2005.

 These youth all have amazing stories to share and to tell. They are all working with other youth, and are involved. They are finding solutions for the problems by helping out and by caring for other youth.

We chose to also do a poster on the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Highschool Senior Boy's Volleyball team to recognize their atheletic excellence. They have won three consecutive championships in the city of Thunder Bay, and it is wonderful to see their hard work, team work and individual commitment to play this sport reflect in their winnings.