Urban Indigenous youth are taking the lead, advocating for policies that uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples on and off-reserve. Host Am Johal is joined by Jessica Savoy and Edgard Villanueva-Cruz from Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE). They discuss their recent report, Our Place, Our Home, Our Vision: Youth Voices of East Vancouver. The report contains Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth-generated recommendations for bringing urban Indigenous voices to the table, applying UNDRIP across different levels of government, and creating new models of self-governance for Indigenous people living off-reserve or in urban centres. Jessica has personal experience and education developing and implementing engagement and empowerment initiatives for Indigenous peoples, youth and the greater community. Over the past several years, she has worked with ALIVE and the City of Vancouver as a program assistant.She recently completed the 12-month Indigenous Youth Internship Program (IYIP) with the Provincial Government. During her time with the IYIP Program, she spent 9 months in Victoria with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as a Policy Advisor, and 3 months with ALIVE.Edgard has experience both on and off-reserve advocating and leading. Edgard began working with ALIVE at the age of 16 and has spent his days activating Urban Indigenous peoples to the goals they wish to achieve. He works to educate and empower a team of indigenous and non-indigenous youth to decolonize, create systems change and produce meaningful outcomes.
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