Empowering Indigenous youth as they prepare for their futures!

On April 30th, students in grades 7-12 had the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by a virtual panel of outstanding Indigenous role models. This panel shared their career journeys and answered students' questions to inspire them as they plan their own career paths. This event was supported by the Peter & Catherine Clark Family Foundation.




Meet our speakers:
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Keynote Speaker
Notorious Cree

Notorious Cree is a men's fancy Powwow dancer and top 3 world hoop dancer who also plays the flute and hand drum. Notorious Cree blends traditional, modern and contemporary arts mixed with comedy to showcase a high energy performance.


Emcee
James Mckay

Sr. Manager BMO Office of Inclusion and Talent Acquisition

James is Ojibway from Batchewana First Nation, a Northern Ontario community near Sault Ste. Marie and close to the US and Canadian boarder. He started his career in the Environmental Engineering field, moved into Information Technology, and is now working in Canada’s Financial Sector where he helps craft and lead Indigenous Talent Acquisition strategies for some of the largest companies in Canada. James has a dual reporting role into both the Offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Talent Acquisition for BMO Bank of Montreal.



Interactive Activity Lead
J'net Ayayqwayaksheelth

Royal Ontario Museum School Programs Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator

J'net is an Ahousaht member from the Nuu-chah-nulth nation and an award-winning arts leader and educator. J’net is a practitioner of reconciliation through participation, as a way of championing authentic engagement and appreciation of diverse living Indigenous cultures and heritages, in both historical and contemporary contexts.

Panelist
MPP Suze Morrison

NDP Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto Centre

Suze Morrison is the NDP Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto Centre, and the official opposition critic for urban Indigenous issues, and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Her experience with poverty, precarious housing, and learning how to understand her identity as a woman with mixed settler and Indigenous heritage are all critical parts of how she looks at policy from a progressive and intersectional lens.

Panelist
Jennifer Harper

Founder and CEO, Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC.

An award-winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC. Cheekbone Beauty is a digitally native direct to consumer brand that is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand while using the concept of a circular economy in the brands ethos and in developing their latest line of products. Creating a new segment in the beauty industry - Sustainable Socially Conscious Beauty.

Jennifer Harper has been making a name for herself in the beauty industry for a number of years but has been gaining popularity quickly after being on the hit CBC show, Dragons Den. Cheekbone Beauty is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand. You can see Jennifer Harper's Dragons Den link posted in the chat!

Panelist
Tsista Kennedy

Artist

Tsista Kennedy, a 19-year old Oneida and Anishinaabe artist, is an artist who blends traditional woodland style art with pop art to bring attention to issues facing Indigenous people. His art features a variety of  modern topics, from serious issues like pipelines, murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and residential schools, to cultural phenomena like The Mandalorian and Godzilla.