A New Memory in the Minds of our Children and Youth

Inherent Rights Storytelling Initiative & Youth and Elders Gathering

“It’s time to put a new memory in the minds of our children. Time to tell them a story of hope. Time to tell the story that our long struggle for the right to be self-governing is over, and we have won. And it is time to put into practice.” – Satsan

Seven generations have passed since the imposition of the Indian Act. Today’s youth are the eighth generation living with restrictive policies holding us back from our own governance structures, values, culture, and territories. And yet, Indigenous youth are finding creative ways to rediscover their sacred ceremonies, revitalize their language, learn their culture, and exercise their inherent rights to transform their nations.

Through the use of traditional storytelling, the 2022-2023 Inherent Rights Youth Initiative supported a diverse group of First Nations youth from across Turtle Island in an online learning space to virtually visit five of the communities that have partnered with the Rebuilding First Nations Governance research project to hear stories from Elders around the Centre for First Nations Governance’ five pillars of effective governance. Together we developed a shared understanding of our inherent governance rights and the obligations we have under those rights to rebuild a collective sense of identity rooted in culture, land, language, and spirituality.

This year’s initiative focused on creating a new memory in the minds of our children and youth. We will envision the new stories our children and youth will tell with the resurgence of our own traditional governance systems, practices and inherent rights leadership.

Our journey began with a series of virtual Storytelling Sessions and wrapped up with a one-day Youth & Elder Gathering.

The final report for the IRYI Storytelling Initiative can be found here: IRYI Final Report

Thank you to this year’s sponsors!