Indigenous Youth Inherent Rights Leadership Gathering

by | Sep 10, 2021


Inherent Rights Leadership Gathering: Honouring our past, present, and future leaders

October 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2021

This is an invitation to Indigenous youth from Indigenous youth. Join us as we reclaim and rebuild our identity through connections to our lands, languages, ceremonies and histories. We’ll be talking about our inherent rights and what we need to do to restore self-governance.


Space is limited – Register soon! ​​Register by September 21st to receive a gift bundle on time for the Gathering.

“Youth collaboration is really necessary for success so we can learn from each other and share the experiences that we have had, and the loss of identity so many of us can relate to” Tashena Lerat-Musqua, Cowesses First Nation.

We are the Inherent Rights Youth Initiative, a group of youth who have gathered to support and empower one another as we reclaim our languages and live beyond the reserve boundaries to occupy more of our ancestral places.

You are invited to our virtual ceremonial learning space. Join us and be co-hosted by Indigenous Youth, Elders, and Medicine People. Together we will learn about the pre-existing lifestyles and self-governance that ancestors enjoyed pre-contact, the Indian Act and its impacts on our people and communities and First Nations’ resistance to assimilation. Also, we will collectively vision what the future of our inherent rights looks like.

The Gathering is for emerging youth leaders, changemakers, and people who support rebuilding First Nations governance. We are grateful that Elders and Medicine People will be joining us because we need their prayers and guidance as we engage in this critical work. We also invite our family, communities, and leaders to support us in our leadership journey to have a collective vision and what is important to our future.

This Gathering will include Ceremonies and Ceremonial Teachings, as well as Presentations, Meaningful Conversations and Networking. This is the first annual Gathering, and the purpose is to:

  • Build a network of First Nations Youth working to take back our identity and live our inherent right;
  • Support our leadership journey by bringing together Elders, Medicine People, and communities to witness us and to realize our full potential as leaders;
  • Celebrate the resurgence of our inherent right to self-government;
  • Heal together from the collective damages of the Indian Act;
  • Be in a good relationship with the spirit in the land, water, air, and all of creation so we can fulfill our leadership responsibilities and obligations;
  • Educate and offer support that empowers our community and us to achieve self-governance!

Co-hosted by:

  • The Inherent Rights Youth Initiative
  • Medicine People and Elders sharing ceremonial teachings and wisdom
  • Satsan and his team from the Centre for First Nations Governance

Each day we will learn more about the 5 Pillars of our Inherent Right to Self-Governance (The People, The Land, Laws and Jurisdiction, Governance Systems and Resource).

Day 1:  Pre-Contact
Day 2:  The History of the Indian Act and our resistance to assimilation
Day 3: Our Inherent Right to Self-Government and how we achieved recognition through the Canadian legal system and Section 35 of the Constitution Act, (1982)
Day 4:  Visioning for the Future: Rebuilding our inherent right to self-government

Participants will be encouraged to participate throughout the Gathering actively. Facilitated Open Space Technology (OST) sessions will empower attendees to custom design discussions, deliver intimate conversations that matter, and provide a space for passions, interests and solutions to emerge.

Step in, take charge of the challenges and give your energy to what matters most to you. Ideas, recommendations, discussions and next steps will be documented and shared to help nurture the opportunity for ongoing collaboration post-conference.

The Gathering is hosted in a ceremonial learning space online using Zoom.

There are only 40 seats available for Indigenous youth, so please register now!


  • Lyndin Belleau, Kitigan Zibi
  • Kwemcexenalqs (Kwem) Manuel-Gottfriedson
  • Tashena Lerat-Musqua, Cowesses First Nation
  • Darian Agecoutay, Cowesses First Nation
  • Daphne McRae, Upper Nicola Nation
  • Lexlixatkwa Nelson, Lil’wat Nation
  • Leonard Jones, Lil’wat Nation
  • Serena Havana, Haida Nation
  • Zachary Groose, Haida Nation
  • Medicine People and Elders
  • Martina Pierre, Lil’wat Nation
  • makwa ogimaa (Jerry Fontaine), Sagkeeng Nation
  • Patricia Shawnoo, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation


  • Satsan (Herb George), Wet’suwet’en Nation
  • Terry Poucette, Stoney Nation

Dates and Time:

October 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th
2:30pm-6:00pm (NDT),
2pm-5:30pm (AST),
1pm-4:30pm (EST),
12pm-3pm (CST),
11am-2:30pm (MST),
10 am to 1:30 pm (PST)

Thank You to our Partners:

Join the Centre for First Nations Governance mailing list. We look forward to keeping you informed.