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Speaker to give inspiring talk about Aboriginal youth empowering change

Okanagan College Media Release

In British Columbia, there are 64,100 Aboriginal youth aged 10- to 24-years-old. It is believed in some Aboriginal cultures and heritages that this “eighth generation” will be the generation to impact change.

Aboriginal people today are laying the foundation for the eighth fire to be lit. The generation to come includes those who make a choice of coming together for community, the environment, and to fundamentally shift ways of knowing and doing.

Gabrielle Scrimshaw webOn Thursday March 26, Okanagan College will host nationally recognized, and member of the Hatchet Lake First Nations, Gabrielle Scrimshaw for a public guest lecture titled “Aboriginal Leadership & Education: our shared Canadian Journey” at both the Kelowna and Vernon campuses. She will speak about how Aboriginal people are growing in numbers, educational rates and what it means for the Canadian economy.

“We have more than 1,500 Aboriginal students registered in our diverse programs, which is triple what it was 10 years ago,” says Anthony Isaac, Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator at Okanagan College. “We’re excited to have such an influential speaker, someone many students can relate to, come to our campuses to inspire and engage our community in the broader conversation about diversity and our growing economy.”

From 2006 to 2011 the national Aboriginal population increased by 20.1 per cent, compared with a growth of 5.2 per cent of non-Aboriginal as per Statistics Canada. With this growth, a movement is seeing Aboriginal youth more inspired than ever in their pursuit of education and training. This positively impacts the Canadian economy, social health system, and contributes to meeting the anticipated demand for a skilled workforce of the future.

Saskatchewan-raised Scrimshaw is recognized for driving awareness about the growth, success, and leadership of Aboriginal youth. She is an advocate for promoting equality of First Nations in our economy, while upholding the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal people.

She co-founded the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada, and was the recipient of the 2013 Indspire First Nations Youth award, one of the highest honours within the Aboriginal community. An experienced public speaker, she has presented to youth at the G8/G20 MY SUMMITS program and also attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and CEO Summits in Japan as a Voices of the Future delegate where she spoke about foreign policy to world leaders.

The public is invited to hear from Scrimshaw on March 26 at the Okanagan College Kelowna Campus at 10 a.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning, and also at the Vernon Campus in the Lecture Theatre at 1 p.m.