OKIB Youth Council

Youth - Leadership - Respect


What is the OKIB Youth Council?

The Okanagan Indian Band Youth Council aims to help build the leaders of tomorrow through real world experiences today.

The Youth Council was formed for the following purposes:

  • Provide a way for S’yilx’ youth from OKIB to participate in the OKIB government to raise issues affecting S’yilx’ youth.
  • Promote the development of programs and services aimed at the social, cultural and community needs of OKIB youth.
  • Create opportunities that may provide positive change for OKIB youth as well as community through empowerment, culture, training and education.
  • Create and develop leadership skills for youth. (facilitate program)
  • Respect S’yilx’ culture, history, customs and traditions. As well as teach.
  • Provide a voice for OKIB youth to bring forward issues, barriers, and concerns that S’yilx’ youth may face.

Vision

To engage our youth to inspire, motivate, and empower them to participate and be actively involved in the future decisions that will shape their lives, family, community and nation.

Mission

The youth council represents youth and will promote healthy lifestyles by incorporating our traditions, culture, spirituality, and language, with honesty and integrity. With the interests of all youth in mind.


Youth Council Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference lays out the direction the Youth Council will follow in going about our business. In addition, it includes an application form for any youth who are interested in joining us. Read the OKIB Youth Council Terms of Reference.


Meet the Youth Council for 2021

Tyara
Tyara Marchand, Co-Chair

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My name is Tyara Marchand I am mother to a son born last August: Nathan Niklaus Angermeyer. I am the daughter of Sharon Antoine (Cyrenne) and Darryl Marchand. I am the granddaughter of Wendy and Victor Antoine. Currently, I am in my last year of an Honors Bachelor in Anthropology at the University of Calgary.

Throughout my undergraduate career, I have made it my priority to focus my work and volunteer experiences on my ties to my Indigenous community. I want to use the education I have pursued in positive and impactful ways and as a continuation into plans to attend medical school with the hopes of becoming a Neonatologist. My career goal is to be able to foster and provide culturally safe and appropriate healthcare access to Indigenous children both on and off-reserve. This and other Indigenous health issues, such as socioeconomic impacts on healthcare access and over-representation of Indigenous populations in certain chronic diseases, are extremely important to me. I have been lucky to work alongside many diverse Indigenous organizations such as being a research assistant for the University of Calgary's Indigenous Organizations and Communities Research Lab, peer mentor for IndigeSTEM, and a program assistant for Stardale Charity.

I hope to spend my two years on the OKIB youth council empowering Indigenous youth into pursuing post-secondary education. I would further like to help advocate for more elder and traditional teachings to our youth to ensure Syilx practices live on. Lastly, as an OKIB member who lives off-reserve, I would like to push for increased involvement and support for our off-reserve youth.

Tyara Marchand, Co-Chair
OKIB Youth Leadership Council

Justen
Justen Peters, Co-Chair

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My name is Justen Peters, my mother is Laurie Peters, my grandmother is the late Marie Peters, my great grandmother was Hannah Brewer, and my great-great grandfather was the former chief of the Okanagan Indian Band Ernest Brewer. I grew up on the Okanagan Indian Band reserve, primarily in the Salmon River / Round Lake area.

The youth programs put on by the OKIB, ONA, and Vernon Friendship Centre that I attended in my teens introduced me to how serious it is for us, as Indigenous Youth, to preserve our culture and identities as well as being educated about social and political issues affecting First Nations people. It was from these programs and the community members involved that I found my gift for communication and leadership. I hope through the OKIB Leadership Council we can continue to build capacity for our Youth and achieve milestones through our activities and community involvement that will lay the foundation for competent leadership in the future.

I am currently the B.C. Assembly of First Nations Male Youth Representative. In this role I have had the privilege to sit on national committees, attend conferences, and meet with leaders in the Provincial, Federal, and First Nations governments. I’ve learned that there are a lot of opportunities for First Nations Youth for employment, leadership, and rebuilding our communities through relationship building and reconciliation initiatives. With the efforts that have been made to teach our youth about the language and culture, I am optimistic that we can utilize the passion of our Youth to prepare them for leadership roles in the future, while fostering a strong sense of community as well.

I look forward to serving you,

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Justen Peters, Co-Chair
OKIB Youth Leadership Council

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Taijah Clough

Hi, my name is Taijah Clough and I am learning to become a leader in the Youth Leadership Council. I am born and raised Okanagan, a Band Member of OKIB, Syilx Nation.

Because of my experience with the Ministry I am well aware of the policies and procedures involved with youth in care. I know what kind of supports and knowledge is needed to properly support not only our youth in care but the families involved with the youth as well. My experience has given me a passion to help other youth who may need a hand to guide them into a healthy well balanced life.

Taijah Clough
OKIB Youth Leadership Council

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Kaylan Lawrence

Hello, my name is Kaylan Lawrence and I’m a OKIB band member. My great-great grandparents are William Lawrence Sr. and Harriet Alexander and Johnny Oppenheimer and Edith Nickolas. My great grandparents were William (Willy) Lawrence Jr. and Eva (Nee Oppenheimer) and my grandparents are David and Bonnie Lawrence. On my mother’s side: Grandfather John Ross and Grandmother Gail Ross. My mother is Tracy Ross and father is Dwayne Lawrence. I have four brothers and one older sister.

I am a part of the volunteer Okanagan Indian Band Fire Department for approximately six years and still active. So far in my life I have traveled to Mexico to build a house for a family of four that couldn’t afford to build on their own. I have also volunteered at quite a few different charities including the Gleaners and Salvation Army. As far as schooling, I completed grades 1 thru 12 at Vernon Christian School. I’ve also completed a Public Works Level 1 technician’s course. Most recently I traveled to Tennessee to complete my UXO Technician Level 1 certification and now have my first year of work under my belt.

My vision for the Youth Leadership Council is for our younger members to feel connected to their ancestry and community. I want to be able to see our youth have role models to look up to. What I have to offer to the Youth Council and Band is a positive outlook on any situation, a capable and trustworthy team play and leader. I want to thank everyone that contributed in making this happen.

Sincerely,

Kaylan Lawrence
OKIB Youth Leadership Council

Kayla Ochoa
Kayla Ochoa

Hello! My name is Kayla Ochoa and I am excited to be a part of the OKIB youth council. I was born and raised in Vernon BC and I am living off reservation. My parents are Anne Ochoa and Brian Ochoa, my grandmother is Penny Lawrence, my grandpa was Mike Ochoa, and my step grandpa's name was Alvin Shaffer.

I just graduated from Okanagan College on the Vernon campus, I got my certificate for esthetics and nail technology course. I dream of running my own esthetics salon/spa one day and have been dreaming of it since I was a child.

I have also done volunteer work as well in our community such as volunteering at the SPCA, offering free beauty services through the college to women at the transition house and to those at nursing homes. I have also helped set up events with the Okanagan College and helped run career fair booths in both Vernon and Kelowna.

I aspire to be someone who can offer knowledge, education, and support for our youth. I am very passionate in mental health education and awareness; I have taken suicide prevention workshops and mental health workshops in the past and wish to learn more tools to help those in need of it. Education is very important to me as well, I believe we can always learn more, learning never stops and it’s a great privilege to be able to have access and take advantage of education.

Kayla Ochoa
OKIB Youth Leadership Council

Contact Information

Mike Ochoa
Youth Justice Worker
Phone: 236-599-0025
Cell: 250-309-0353
Email: [email protected]

Dwayne Lawrence
Youth Recreation Worker
Cell: 250-241-4741
Email [email protected]