Canada World Youth has a variety of programs to engage and empower youth in Canada and around the world. Through our programming, we enable young people to become active, engaged citizens, so they can make positive changes for themselves, their communities, and the world.

If you’re a young Canadian interested in being part of CWY-JCM's programs, we encourage you to bookmark this page as a favourite and check-in for volunteer experiences regularly!

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National Youth Leadership Summit

June 5 - 8, 2022 | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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Join more than 180 youth delegates ages 18 to 25 from across Canada at the Saskatoon Inn. 

STEM Minds and Apathy is Boring will be leading workshops in tech and entrepreneurship, and advocacy & community organizing respectively. Jack.org will be facilitating a talk on mental health, and Investment Advisor and former Executive Director for Canadian Roots Exchange vibhor garg, will be leading workshops in budgeting and investing. In the evenings, they will enjoy performances from Buffalo Boy Productions, and musician Adeoluwa and band. On Tuesday, the group will tour the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, historically a site of celebration, worship and gathering which now offers oral history and learning guided by a council of Elders from various First Nations in the area.

Delegates can now apply! Accepted applicants will be asked to provide a contribution of $250 towards your ticket. CWY-JCM will cover your transportation, meals, accommodation and programming. We encourage delegates to fundraise this amount, and we will support you in doing so.

Contact reception@cwy-jcm.org with any questions. All selected delegates will also be invited to attend virtual sessions in preparation for the travel to and from the event.   

We’re so excited to be able to host so many incredible young minds, hear your stories, and learn from each other. We’d love for you to join us! 

Apply Here
Keynote Speakers
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Zainab Muse

Founder & CEO of Wingd Inc. and Creatorland

Zainab Muse is an award-winning entrepreneur, design strategist, author and filmmaker. Her work focuses on using media and design to build equitable and inclusive practices through innovation and community engagement strategies that intersect art, science, technology and society.

She has worked with several organizations across multiple sectors in Canada and around the world including working as a filmmaker to amplify the narratives of underserved people in collaboration with Bell and CBC. As a result of her cross-disciplinary work, she has been recognized as one of the ‘Top 10 Shifters in Ottawa, awarded 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by the Women in Communications and Technology, along with being recognized as a ‘Woman Entrepreneur Icon’ by Startup Canada and the Coca Cola Foundation, and as one of the ‘Women Who Lead’ in Ottawa, a campaign by Elevate International.


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Cassidy Caron

President,  Métis National Council

Cassidy Caron Métis woman with roots in the historic Métis communities of Batoche and St. Louis, Saskatchewan. She grew up closely connected to her Métis traditions, heritage and culture and is driven by her family and community values of respect, honesty, collaboration and responsibility. Cassidy is the first elected woman to hold the office of President of the Métis National Council. At 29 years old, Cassidy is still considered a youth in her community.

Cassidy is a Nation-builder. Utilizing the knowledge, skills and perspectives acquired through her formal education, professional and political experiences, as well as through her deep community involvement, Cassidy’s goal is to explore and utilize innovative approaches to community development and Nation-building, which promote effective collaboration and deeper understanding between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

As an entrepreneur, Cassidy has advised and evaluated both provincially and nationally administered programs that aim to serve and support Indigenous peoples and communities across Canada. She has also supported the implementation of initiatives in, by and for Indigenous communities throughout Canada in a variety of sectors—all of which sought to achieve an overarching goal of restoring balance and wellness to Indigenous communities.


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Anu Bidani

Founder & CEO of STEM Minds

STEM Minds is a social enterprise that empowers youth to develop a love of learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education. She has recently launched her charity Inno-Hive which is focused on advancing education through technology related skill building for young adults. Prior to starting STEM Minds, Anu worked as an executive at Scotiabank for many years, becoming their Head of eStrategy and Solutions. Anu is an award-winning entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering the next generation of global leaders and innovators. Anu has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, an MBA from Dalhousie University and has completed the High Potential Leadership program from Harvard Business School.


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Erica Violet Lee

Poet, Climate Activist, Writer & Political Theorist

Erica Violet Lee is a Two-Spirit Cree poet and activist from inner city Saskatoon, Canada. Known for her work with Idle No More, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Canadian Youth Climate Delegation to the United Nations climate negotiations, Erica currently works with Indigenous Climate Action, an international network of organizers sharing lessons and building land-based movements.

Erica travels the world working on climate justice and Indigenous resistance, giving keynote talks at Princeton, Harvard, Charles University in Prague, the American University in Paris, the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, and at the New York City Climate March, just to name a few.

As a writer, Erica has published in The Guardian, Red Rising Magazine, Decolonization Journal, GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, and the Globe and Mail, along with many academic articles, art essays, and book chapters.

A member of Thunderchild First Nation, she holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Political Philosophy, as well as a Masters degree in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto. Her debut book on urban Indigenous love, "On the Prairies We Will Live Forever", will be released with Penguin Canada in April 2023. She tweets at @EricaVioletLee.

 

Youth Delegation to United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Youth Delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), organizes and supports a group of Indigenous youth living in Canada to attend this 3-week experience in New York City. The event brings together Indigenous youth and leaders, policy-makers, and educators from around the world.  

Delegates interact with some of the top governing officials about Indigenous issues and promoting resilient, sustaining communities. They receive training and support throughout the program, including skill building in leadership, entrepreneurship, and how to be a voice for one's community. 

At the Forum, Indigenous youth will engage, learn, and lead conversations regarding the issues most important to them. Starting with orientation, youth participate in panel discussions and dialogues, listen to guest speakers, and engage in debriefing sessions. With support and guidance from CWY, youth delegates prepare and host an event at the Forum to discuss important topics affecting Indigenous youth in Canada. Delegates provide the UNPFII with the opportunity to hear the unique needs, priorities, and concerns facing their communities on one of the largest platforms for social change and human rights. The UNPFII has media coverage and the issues addressed by our young people will be heard globally. 

Indigenous youth delegates come away from the Forum with skills and experience in public engagement, professional communication, international development and leadership. The skills and knowledge they obtain, they bring back to their communities, creating a chain reaction of empowerment. You can read all about the Delegates' experience here.

The 2022 UNPFII’s theme is “Indigenous peoples, business, autonomy and the human rights principles of due diligence including free, prior and informed consent.” It will take place April 25th to May 6th at the UN headquarters in New York. This year’s delegation is sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada.

 

Pathways to Indigenous Youth Leadership (PIL)

Pathways for Indigenous Youth Leadership (PIL) is an internship program for Indigenous youth. It has been a cornerstone program of CWY-JCM for many years. This program offers Indigenous youth across Canada the opportunity to work with another Indigenous community somewhere else in the world, either virtually or in-person.  

Interns engage in cross-cultural community development projects, working with Indigenous youth counterparts. They design projects under various themes, including: Indigenous rights, gender equity, governance, and environmental care, Indigenous youth develop intuitive entrepreneurial and community-based solutions to local issues. Participants support and train with community entrepreneurs, conduct public engagement activities, develop career plans, and attend multiple skill building workshops. They gain professional experience in the international development sector and learn about another Indigenous community’s culture and language. 

Upholding the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada, participants are encouraged to develop and share their community’s knowledge, stories, language and culture with Indigenous community partners from Canada and across the world.  To implement this program, CWY-JCM leverages 50-years of relationship building with partners around the globe, recently working with partners in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica. We support the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the project by focusing our community-based initiatives on issues of poverty, health, education, gender equality, and a cleaner greener future.  

In 2019/2020, interns traveled to Peru, where they engaged in community work in partnership with the Brigada de Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Perú (BVBP). Due to COVID lockdowns in 2021, youth took part in a paid virtual internship, working remotely with counterparts in Peru.   

Our third cohort of virtual interns have started their program. It is an 8-week, full-time, paid internship, open to all Indigenous youth 18 - 30. The program is again operated in conjunction with BVBP.

Following the completion of the virtual internship, we will be running an in-person internship in Peru, which will build on what interns in the virtual cohorts have learned. Youth who have successfully completed a remote program will be invited to apply to the in-person internship. 

To run this program, Canada World Youth gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada's International Aboriginal Youth Internships.
 

Women's Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Initiative (WELI)

WELI is an innovative youth-centered and gender-responsive training and development project that seeks to increase economic empowerment and resilience for adolescent girls and young women in communities impacted by COVID-19. Guided by Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), the project is pursuing innovative strategies around gender equality and the economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women by providing access to resources, business development services and new market opportunities. 

Participants of the WELI program benefited from a wide variety of projects, including entrepreneurship incubators for their small businesses, training workshops and sensitivity training on issues of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The project also engaged in advocacy work on the state and national levels around addressing issues of SGBV.  

The WELI pilot project was implemented in Ghana and Senegal over the last 5 years, in partnership with Africa Skills Hub. The program successfully reached and trained 9,534 adolescent girls and young women. It reached 38,000 people through sensitization activities around SGBV and business and life skills training programs.  

Canadian e-volunteers supported WELI’s work. They worked closely with program manager Pamela Yengayenge to design a gender equality tool-kit for policy makers, to develop economic strategies for women entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses, and supporting local partners in designing tools and resources to enhance women livelihoods such as an environmental handbook including eco-friendly practices, designing questionnaires to administer to beneficiaries, and collecting impact stories. 

Canada World Youth is currently in the process of reviewing the data and information collected during the pilot project, in order to deliver another round of WELI adapted to emerging issues and communities most in need.