Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

LANDS, LANGUAGES, and CEREMONIES Inherent Rights Youth Leadership Gathering

October 7, 2021 — October 10, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM — 4:30 PM

Key Contact:Tonii Lerat

“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.

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

We would like to invite you into our virtual ceremonial learning space with Indigenous Youth, Elders, and Medicine People to 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. We will collectively vision what the future of our inherent rights looks like.

Our gathering is for emerging youth leaders and changemakers and the people who support decolonization and 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 important work. We also invite our family, communities, and leaders to support us in our leadership journey so that we have a collective vision and what is important to our future.

This Gathering will include Ceremony 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 us and our community 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

Participants will be encouraged to actively participate throughout the gathering. 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. Space is limited – Register soon! ​​Register by September 21st to receive a gift bundle on time for the gathering.


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

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