State of Youth
The State of Youth Report creates greater awareness of how youth are doing and highlights the opportunities and challenges they face, in their own words. This report will help inform government policies, programs, and decisions to better support youth in Canada. A State of Youth Report will be released every 4 years, as committed in the Youth Policy. Each time, it will be developed in close collaboration with youth.
The State of Youth in 2021 – In Their Own Words
The First State of Youth Report adopts an intersectional approach to illustrate how young people across Canada are doing within the context of the 6 youth-identified priorities in Canada’s Youth Policy as well as the emerging issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. See what youth had to say on the different youth-identified priorities, in their own words.
For youth, with youth, by youth
The State of Youth Report presents the perspective of youth in Canada in their own words. Learn how the principle of “for youth, with youth, by youth” was applied to ensure that the voices of young people are heard, honoured and reflected in an authentic way.
Close to 1000 young people from coast to coast to coast contributed to the development of the State of Youth Report, including:
- First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Black and other racialized youth
- LGBTQ2 youth
- Francophones and youth from official language minority communities
- Youth with disabilities
- Youth living in urban, rural and remote settings
Youth Advisory Group
A Youth Advisory Group was convened to write “The State of Youth in 2021 - In Their Own Words” section of the Report. The group worked together to give voice to the many youth engaged throughout the process, and leveraged the opportunity to make a number of recommendations.
The group was composed of 13 young people from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, ages, and stages in life. The members analyzed and interpreted the data gathered during the engagement sessions to ensure that the perspectives of young people are heard and honoured, and gave advice on the format and presentation of the Report to ensure it is accessible and speaks to all youth in Canada. In addition to drafting the main sections of the Report, this group provided advice on how the Government of Canada can continue its dialogue with youth.
Alex Daigle (She/Her)
Alex Daigle is a queer Franco-Albertan from Edmonton. She graduated from Campus Saint-Jean and currently works with 2S and LGBTQ2 organizations across the country as part of her role as a Francophone Liaison and Program Coordinator with the Enchanté Network. She spends most of her time in nature, listening to historical documentaries, Star Trek and making artistic creation.
Alfred Burgesson (He/Him)
Alfred Burgesson emigrated from Ghana to Canada at a young age. In addition to being a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, he serves on the board for the Halifax Public Library. He is passionate about youth issues, entrepreneurship and community development. Alfred is Executive Director of Tribe Network; a social enterprise that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Carson Robinson (He/Him)
Carson Robinson is from the Sagkeeng Anicinaabe Nation in Treaty 1 Territory and currently serves as the National Representative for Manitoba at the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council. He was also proud to serve as Youth Chief and Independent Nations Representative of Southern Chiefs Organization Youth Council in Manitoba – the only youth council in Canada with a vote at the Chiefs Discussion/Resolution table – from February 2019 to May 2021. Carson is a student at the University of Manitoba currently completing his major in Native Studies. He is a passionate advocate for progressing reconciliation and works with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations to assist and advise in cultural awareness and reconciliation efforts. He also works to connect Indigenous communities to the world through fibre optic internet and is a strong advocate for youth from the Manitoba region. Apart from politics and work, Carson has also devoted much of his life to learning and attending traditional Anishinaabeg ceremonies and passing on that traditional knowledge to young people looking for mino-pimatiziwin – a good life.
Gloria Livingston (She/Her)
Gloria Livingston is a Franco-Albertan living in Edmonton. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Science degree at Campus Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta while being the President of La Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta. Gloria has a particular interest in leadership and issues related to Indigenous Peoples and their sovereignty.
Jake Bradshaw (He/Him)
Jake Bradshaw lives in Toronto and is a recent graduate of Queen's University where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Ever since his own struggle with depression and anxiety he has been passionate about mental health advocacy. Jake has advocated for mental health through public speaking, writing and community organizing alongside a variety of organizations. Jake is now a Co-Founder of The Social Reset, an organization that is working to address the mental health crisis by helping young Canadians cultivate healthy relationships with social media.
Jamie-Lee Keith (She/Her)
Jamie-Lee Keith is from Kamloops, British Columbia. She is a law student at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). She has a Bachelor’s degree in history, a Bachelor's degree in education, and a Master’s in educational leadership. Jamie-Lee has a particular interest in issues encountered by Métis and is deeply involved in her community. Currently, she is the Thompson/Okanagan Métis Youth representative, the director of communications at Two Rivers Métis, and is part of the Indigenous Mentorship Program at TRU.
Jana Jandal Alrifai (She/Her)
Jana Jandal Alrifai is an Arab-Canadian living in Windsor, Ontario. She is passionate about social change and the diverse voices that help lead it. She is a climate justice organizer with Fridays For Future Windsor-Essex and Climate Strike Canada.
Katja Newman (She/Her)
Katja Newman is from Ottawa, Ontario. She holds a college diploma in Child and Youth Work from Georgian College and a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Carleton University. She is also working towards obtaining an online Master's degree in Grant Writing Management and Evaluation from Concordia University Chicago. She is the Student Awards Program Manager at the National Educational Association of Disabled Students. Katja is a strong advocate for youth with disabilities and issues of accessibility.
Keely Grossman (She/Her)
Keely Grossman is a Carleton University Sociology PhD student. She has a particular interest for disability justice, deinstitutionalization, youth issues and addressing inequalities.
Manvir Bhangu (She/Her)
Manvir Bhangu is a South Asian Second-generation Canadian living in Brampton, Ontario. She is the founder of Laadliyan, a nonprofit organization which inspires South Asian daughters of all ages to become empowered through education, engagement and awareness. She also works as Manager of Operations at Punjabi Community Health Services. Manvir is particularly interested in and passionate about youth development, community building and advocating for gender equity within the South Asian community.
Sharanjit Khela (She/Her)
Sharanjit Khela is a second-generation South Asian living in Brampton, Ontario. She will be joining Ryerson’s Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration in September 2021. Sharanjit is primarily interested in addressing issues faced by marginalized youth and immigrant communities. She is currently the Research Coordinator at the nonprofit, Laadliyan which advocates for gender equity in the South Asian community, and will also be working as a Research and Policy Intern at the Ryerson Leadership Lab this summer.
Simon Thériault (He/Him)
Simon Thériault is originally from Grand-Sault, New Brunswick. He is currently completing his final year at Polyvalente Thomas-Albert, where he chairs the student council. Simon is also president of the Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick and sits on the board of directors of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française. Accessibility to mental health services, protection of the environment, and defense of the rights of sexual and gender minorities are issues of great importance to Simon. He is always ready to represent the voice of young people and defend their interests.
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza (She/Her)
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza is a Dene cis woman from the Fort Nelson First Nation in BC Treaty 8 territory. She currently works as a community educator bringing sexual health and harm reduction workshops to youth across BC using a holistic wellness model and traditional teachings. She is passionate about elevating youth voices and addressing the need for programs that connect youth to culture and community. Having been guided by her grandparents, mother, aunties and mentors, Taylor is a language learner in the Dene K’e (South Slavey) dialect and is an emerging artist of traditional Dene crafts. When she is not out in the community delivering programs, you can find her out on traditional territory with her family exercising their treaty rights.
Six young artists have put their talent to work to create a visual interpretation for each of the youth-identified priority areas and the impacts of COVID-19. Their illustrations complement and punctuate the words shared in the report.
Azby Whitecalf (They/Them)
Azby Whitecalf is a Plains Cree Character Designer and Illustrator based out of North Battleford, Saskatchewan Treaty 6 Territory. They have a Bachelor Degree in Visual Communication (Character Design) from the Alberta University of the Arts. Azby’s practice revolves creating fun and exciting stories with memorable and unique characters. An important part of their practice is that they create accurate and positive representation of Indigenous peoples and cultures and exploring what it is to portray Indigenous people in a way that captures their multi-dimensional identity. Azby enjoys working with bright colours, strong contrast and fun shapes.
Cory Bugden (He/Him)
Cory Bugden is a Canadian illustrator based out of Calgary, Alberta. Originally a graphic designer for an agency that served clients like Oakley, Speedo, and Red Bull; Cory decided to further his artistic capabilities at the Alberta University of the Arts in 2016, completing his degree in 2020. Cory uses bright colours with a fun and whimsical illustration style that can force a smile on anyone's face. When he grows up, Cory wants to be a studio-owner, creative director, children's book illustrator and amateur freestyle rapper.
Daniela Vasco (She/Her)
Daniela Vasco is a 22-year-old Ecuadorian artist, recently graduated from Alberta University of the Arts, with a Bachelor of Design in Illustration. She has been drawing ever since she can remember and is passionate about storytelling, both with words and visuals. She has a love for literature and has published three young adult novels. Daniela’s art is versatile, ranging from children-book illustrations to editorial pieces and animation. She enjoys illustrating portraits that capture a moment, and portraying different emotions throughout her art. Her work always has an underlying feeling of wonder and dreaminess, a reminder to keep a sense of excitement for things we might take for granted.
Kaitlyn Nasogaluak (She/Her)
Kaitlyn Rose Nasogaluak is a 19-year old Indigenous artist from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She identifies as part of Sahtu Dene and Inuvialuit descent. Kaitlyn Rose draws mostly human characters, whether they’d be characters from fiction, or her own original ones. Drawing is her passion, it has been for as long as she can remember. She loves listening to music, driving, and playing video games.
Leah Prisque (She/Her)
Leah Prisque's spiritual name is Waabano Pichi Kwe, meaning “Light of Dawn Robin Woman,” which was gifted to her in 2018. She is an Ojibwe Métis woman from Port Severn, Ontario, a very small town on the cusp of Muskoka. She enjoys creating multimedia art, cooking, camping, spending time on the water, and with her partner and her pack of pets!
Morgaine Johnson (She/Her)
Morgaine Johnson was born and raised in Treaty 7 territory, Mohkinstsis, Calgary, Alberta. She recently graduated from the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary with a Bachelor of Design in Illustration, and has a professional background in cooking and baking. She finds inspiration from the natural world, vintage patterns and typography, movies and films. Morgaine has recently taken up collecting plants, bookbinding and quilting. She loves doing a lot of different things!
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