Exchange Champions

 

Experiences Canada is thrilled to be working with 5 youth leaders across Canada who focus on offering opportunities to youth in their community.  With a dedicated group organizer, the Exchange Champions will be working in the role as chaperones to co-facilitate an Experiences Canada exchange. 

Each exchange champion will complete a series of online training modules that will provide them with knowledge in recruitment, promotion and marketing, finance, project management, and cross-cultural training. 

The Exchange Champion position will provide youth leaders with the opportunity to help develop Experiences Canada Exchanges program within their own communities as an alternate summer project. 

James Koomak

James Koomak

I’m James Koomak of Arviat, Nunavut. I have been involved in various Youth Programs since the summer of 2011. I have participated summer youth program with Northern Youth Abroad to volunteer in Windsor and Ottawa, Ontario in 2011 and 2016. I was also a youth delegate with the National Inuit Youth Council in 2013 at Kuujjuaq, Quebec, as well as the Youth Representative at our Regional Inuit Association’s Annual Conference in 2017.

Moreover, I was a chaperone and mentor/facilitator for youth and students at a Health Careers camp in Iqaluit in 2018. I also work at Youth Centres here in Arviat and in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Bethany Jacobs

Bethany Jacobs

Bethany Jacobs refers to herself as a ’Newfinishanabe’ – a slang term which combined “Annishanabe” and “Newfie” together.

She is passionate about community care, trauma and resiliency, wholeness, helping people thrive within their own journeys, and cultural restoration and revitalization. Bethany has been apart of various social justice and human rights initiatives throughout Canada, USA, and other areas in the world. Her end goal is to carry these values within each of the communities she is apart of- and hopefully bring a counselling and community-care practice globally. Bethany believes that cultural restoration, reconciliation, and relationship are at the centre of everyone’s healing journeys- whether from various types of trauma, relational discord, or upsetting life events. She also has experienced the whole-hearted transformation, which experiences such as Community Exchange Programs can revitalize within a human’s being. Bethany is therefore ecstatic to join Experiences Canada in participating in and leading community-based Exchanges for youth to become empowered in reconciliation, cultural revitalization, self-growth, self-confidence, and relational vitality. She hopes this opportunity will help her inspire many young people, and help them draw out their inner goals and dreams, and move further into the amazing human they were created to be. “

Paige Kasokeo

Paige Kasokeo

Tansi, my name is Paige Kasokeo. I am a proud neheyaw iskwew from Poundmakers First Nations, SK born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I am a Youth and Family Support worker at Ben Calf Robe Society and was just named the new head of the Youth Advisory Committee for the youth within my community. I have 10 years experience working in the field of child and youth as well as providing resources for those who are homeless and or considered low income. I’ve grown a huge passion for youth as I want to be able to show them opportunity and allow them to have a voice not only for themselves but also their communities. Being able to connect with youth from all over and traveling has been something I have always wanted to do, and being able to be apart of Experiences Canada’s Team is going to be such a great experience and opportunity to learn and grow and is super exciting and I look forward to this amazing journey.

Nicole Tornquist

Nicole Tornquist

Tansi, My name is Nicole Tornquist, I am a 25 year old Indigenous woman from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. I graduated high school from Margaret Barbour Collegiate. I then continued my education at University College of the North and completed my Business Administration majoring in Management. I am a National Ambassador of Hope for We Matter, Manitoba 150 Youth Ambassador, Indigenous 150+ Youth Ambassador and I am also a Facilitator for Awaken the Spirit. In 2019 the youth nominated me to run for Junior Onekanew (Chief), where I accepted the challenge and started my campaign journey. I was then the successful candidate for Junior Onekanew (Chief). With that being said I have the great honors to proudly represent my community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation. My passion is working with the youth of my community and helping our youth become the best people they can be, watching them bloom and overcome obstacles is the greatest feeling in the world. I believe I was meant to mentor the youth, to help them succeed and making connections with them, our youth are the reason I am always pushing myself to become a better person.

Jonathan Plank

Jonathan Plank

I’m Jonathan Plank an Education student at the University of Regina focusing on Social studies with an interest in inclusive education.  I grew up in the town of Fort Qu’Appelle Saskatchewan at the heart of Treaty 4. Growing up in Fort Qu’Appelle has given me ample opportunity to explore the history and the relationship between settlers and indigenous people, Fort Qu’Appelle prior to settlement was a location of great importance for the people of the great plains and Metis Nation. As well as the location of the first Hudson’s Bay store. This historical narrative is one that has shaped my community and my own experiences. It was the historic nature of my community which given me the opportunity to work at the Motherwell National Historic site. Allowing me to better explore the settling of the plains and the relationship between indigenous people and early settlers. Understanding the experiences of my community and the impact of a place has on truth and reconciliation. The opportunities around me have given me a great ability to explore and better understand the world around me and grow as person entrenched in the spirit of truth and reconciliation

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