“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.”

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