“We must support gender equality in our gatherings by creating spaces in which female leaders can learn, engage, and act on each other’s ideas.”

-Daryl Kootenay

Age: 27

Hometown: Morley, Alberta

Currently Residing In: Morley, Alberta

Affiliations: Stoney Nakoda Youth Council, Banff Center for indigenous leadership, Mni Ki Waka: Decade of Water Summit

Since I was in high school, I have always felt a deep sense of the need and desire to help others. This aligns with my identity as a Stoney Nakoda Youth in my community of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. I have always had a belief and deep understanding of being a warrior amongst our tribe. What it means to be a warrior is to be a provider and to ensure that the young and elderly are able to enjoy comfort before a warrior does. The warrior only experiences satisfaction when seeing their community members happy and healthy. This ancient truth is what I interpret into my modern way of living today.

How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?

My wife Ariel and I work together with the Stoney Nakoda Youth Council, delivering workshops that promote awareness of gender equality in a local and global context. We aim to make a positive impact in the world for our youth by setting an example, igniting their sprits, teaching the importance of treating everyone with dignity, and valuing their ideas when collaborating together.

What change would you like to see in the world by 2030?

I feel that the internet and social platforms are not used enough to promote changemakers in the world or to help people engage in their communities. I envision a world where technology enables people to truly connect at a grassroots level for greater global impact.

How does the work you do addressing gender inequality connect to progress on the other Sustainable Development Goals?

Traditional Stoney Nakoda leadership values responsibility, respect, generosity, and spirituality. Similar to the Sustainable Development Goals, we prioritize eliminating poverty, reducing inequality, promoting good health and well-being, and maintaining healthy ecosystems to help us be healthy individuals and, in turn, creating a strong community.

In Stoney Nakoda culture, we believe there is a responsibility to yourself, to family, and to the community to be a provider and teacher. This creates a community where members do not live in poverty and everyone has a role. Through what I do, I give life to these principles, hand in hand with all generations to remember “all our relations.”

More 2019 Top 30 Alumni

Elizabeth Roden

"You don’t have to do something on a grand scale; just live your values and stand up for what you believe in." -Elizabeth Roden Age: 29 Hometown: Glendon, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Operation Eyesight (ACGC Member) From an early age, I’ve always believed that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I helped form a leadership group at my high school and was eager to learn more about world issues. In 2007, I moved to Calgary to pursue a degree...

Janica Altea L. Echavez

"Encouraging young women and men in STEM is key to gaining more leaders and problem solvers that can address our current concerns in new, innovative ways." -Janica Altea L. Echavez Age: 23 Hometown: Cebu, Philippines Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Next 36 Canada, Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group, Science Expo Canada, Foundation of Student Science and Technology I was born and raised in the Philippines. While we owned a family exporting business, I was...

Koshin Mohomoud

"The most important thing for anyone wanting to make a change is to get involved. Whether you are able to volunteer a little bit of your time or a lot, it is always important." -Koshin Mohomoud Age: 29 Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Edmonton Somali Professionals I am currently a senior policy advisor with the Government of Alberta. Prior to my current role, I worked in both the public and private sectors and spent time working in my...

Belen Samuel

"Acknowledge the call to relationship and reconciliation that is present with the land you stand upon." -Belen Samuel Age: 26 Hometown: Born in Zimbabwe, originally from Eritrea Currently Residing In: Treaty 6 (Amiskwaskahegan/Edmonton, Alberta) Affiliations: Supports with Dreaming Rainbow I am a Zimbabwean-born Eritrean settler with migration experiences as a refugee. I currently exist on Treaty 6 territory, where over the past five years, I worked at the Africa Centre and at Youth...

Emilie Duchesne

"Knowing when to take and give space for others is the very first step in taking a stance against gender inequality." -Emilie Duchesne Age: 25 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Youth Empowerment and Supports Services (YESS), Comité Francoqueer de l’Ouest, Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta (FJA) Who I am is shaped and moulded by my belief in equity and inclusion for all types of people. I am a passionate, part-time social work student currently...

Hamila Al-Turk

"Gender equality is not just a women’s issue, but a human rights issue, and we all need to be part of the conversation." Age: 21 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: City of Edmonton Youth Council, Social Equity Subcommittee, Diabetes Canada Club One of the wisest teachers to have taught me once said, “Compassion is the basis of all morality, so live your life as if you were a mirror that reflects the good back to people.” Being a student under her...

John Christy Johnson

"I urge you to pay back to community, leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the prospective engineer, scientist, or astronaut, and pass the baton as you strive for personal success." -John Christy Johnson Age: 22 Hometown: Angadical, Kerala, India Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: University of Alberta Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory, ClickandPush Accessibility Inc., TEDxUAlberta As an Indo-Canadian and identical twin, I spend a fair proportion of my time thinking about...

Tina Guo

"As young individuals, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advocate for marginalized populations, and strive to effect positive change in our communities." -Tina Guo Age: 22 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Students Against Domestic Abuse Association, Outrun the Stigma Calgary, Student Run Clinic Born to a poor, first-generation immigrant family, I understood at a tender age the irreplaceability of diligence and tenacity. However,...

Saige Godberson

"In the face of adversity, do not settle but rather speak up and create change." -Saige Godberson Age: 23 Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta Currently Residing In: Spruce Grove, Alberta Affiliations: Youthnited Nations International, Stollery Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sigma Nursing Honors Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Edmonton I often say that “if everyone makes a small change, together we will make a big difference.” As a registered nurse in...

Mabel Smith

"It is important to find something that you love doing and that you feel has a positive impact on the world." -Mabel Smith Age: 22 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Engineers in Action I have always felt a strong sense of environmental and social responsibility. While still in elementary school, I became an obsessive recycler as well as a vegetarian, and I would carry home banana peels and apple cores to compost. More recently, I have developed...
Share This