OLIVIA WILSON

March 15, 2014

            On May 27th, the Global Youth Conference (GYC) will be returning to Victoria Park. GYC is an annual event in which students and teachers from across the Toronto District School Board are invited to participate in activities and listen to speakers, all of which are focused on bringing awareness to a particular world issue. This year, Nadia Khobzi, Rebecca Raj, and Janeththa Rajendran are working hard alongside their staff supervisors to bring to life an educational and interesting conference called Aboriginal Voices.

Aboriginal Voices is an incredibly important topic, not only here in Canada, but also across the world. As Janeththa explained, “[The topic of Aboriginal Voices] is a huge deal, as diverse Aboriginal populations have continuously been neglected by their governments. In Canada, this has been especially evident over recent years. The Attawapiskat Housing Crisis, for example, helped [shed light on] the issues of low funding to reserves across Canada. It was unbelievable to hear that those people who live on reserves live in third world conditions.” Educating students about issues happening within our own country will no doubt encourage them to become more aware of the issues that surround them.

There are a lot of fascinating speakers who are set to attend GYC, as Rebecca stated: “We invite potential speakers that have expertise in Aboriginal affairs, but most importantly share a passion for what they do. These inspirational speakers are specifically invited for their thorough work and experience in advocating for Aboriginal people.”

The GYC is not only an educational event, but also an interesting one. Students will be encouraged throughout the conference to take on new perspectives of the world, and more specifically, the country in which they live. “I believe that by learning more about this issue, students will want to make Canada more equitable, where students like us in Aboriginal communities will also get to have the same opportunities to succeed,” proclaimed Janeththa. “[Aboriginal Awareness] is also important because not many people [are knowledgeable about] the maltreatment of Aboriginals in Canada and when they so find out, it really says a lot about who we are as a country.” As students learn about the issues in their community and country, they will be encouraged to apply this knowledge to making an active change.

If you are interested in learning more about Aboriginal Voices and how they affect the society that surrounds us, be sure to listen carefully to the announcements near the beginning of May to find out exactly when and where you can pick up your tickets for the upcoming GYC!