Youth of the Year is a national initiative celebrating youth leadership and achievement at BGC Clubs across Canada. Youth of the Year aims to foster strong BGC ambassadors and build capacity for Clubs to support more youth leaders in their communities.
In recognizing the need to create equitable spaces for Indigenous Peoples, BGC Canada has created a new initiative: Indigenous Youth of the Year. The Indigenous Youth of the Year will receive a $2,000 CAD scholarship, laptop, prize pack, and media / leadership training to prepare them as a BGC ambassador for the next 1.5 years. Along with Regional Youth of the Year, the Indigenous Youth of the Year will also be eligible to become National Youth of the Year, with a total scholarship prize of $10,000 CAD. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis youth are encouraged to apply.
The Indigenous Youth of the Year will be held alongside Regional Youth of the Year in the selection process for special recognition as part of BGC Canada’s National Youth of the Year. Indigenous applicants not selected for Indigenous Youth of the Year will still be considered for the Regional Youth of the Year category.
Why was Indigenous Youth of the Year created?
BGC Canada’s mission is to help all young people, including Indigenous children and youth, to thrive personally and further enrich their communities. BGC Canada is committed to creating opportunities and sharing stories of Indigenous youth leadership and achievement. BGC Canada is also committed to building meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.
In prioritizing the selection of an Indigenous Youth of Year, BGC Canada recognizes its responsibility and commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and remains mindful of the historic exclusion of Indigenous Peoples embedded in the fabric of Canada.
Meet our 2022 Indigenous Youth of the Year
Kayla, BGC Battlefords
Attending BGC Battlefords for 2 years, from member to volunteer to staff. Aspiring chef, with a passion for combating food insecurity and food deserts in Northern Canada. Kayla has had many positive experiences in her Club like attending Raise the Grade, Power UP! Activities, becoming a Program Leader, to incorporating Cree language labels. Outside of her Club she volunteers with Concern for Youth, a community non-profit organization, and is a member of the Community Grants Program Advisory Committee—which guides the program’s funding and reviews grant applications. Through her community involvement, Kayla has contributed to creating care packages for women in the community and has supported land-based learning, musical artistry, and Indigenous language revitalization projects. As Youthof the Year, Kayla wants to share the supportive community BGC creates and inspire youth to realize their dreams and advocate for their beliefs.