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Youth Taking the Lead – Minnie Akeeagok

Minnie Akeeagok is 15 years old and lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Here’s how she’s taking the lead:

“I’m taking a leadership role in my community by performing and teaching kids to throat sing. I help my family, friends and anyone within the community with all I can. I am in the school’s leadership program and helping out in the school also in the community. In the class we do things like setting up the stage for assemblies, to going out and hosting an elders tea where our elders meet up, play games, I love helping around with it because you can see their smiles light up the entire room. I’ve learned so much in taking a leadership role, I didn’t want to keep it within the community and thrived to learn more. I’m still learning how to be a better leader by things like Northern Youth, Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2019 held in Abbotsford BC, Mental Health Awareness, etc. I enjoy going out on the land because it’s where our ancestors were before us, makes me feel reconnected to them, without them we wouldn’t be able to have what we do today. Being out on the land also helps me visually understand our culture and how we have been strong and still gaining more strength. Performing with the schools choir has also taught me more on our culture by the words used, with traditional and contemporary singing, drumming and throat singing, I feel the voice we have right now is all our ancestors coming back and reliving and speaking with us. For other Northern Youth I would love for you to go out and express yourself, experience all we have and what we once had. Learn about your own and other cultures and that taking risks like these will forever change you for the better and help you realize that you can do what your mind sets you to do, that learning and getting out really makes a difference in life, everything starts with you.”