The Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC)
The ANFCA’s Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC) was established in 1996 with the intent to increase urban Indigenous youth participation in culture and training. Today the well-developed youth council has emerged as a proud group of youth from across the province of Alberta with a vision for themselves, their communities and the future.
Building on a strong foundation of Friendship Centre history, the AAYC is structured in a Board of Directors format that encourages skill development, and community involvement.
Throughout Alberta many Indigenous youth councils operate within Friendship Centres. It is from these community-based youth councils that representatives are appointed to attend the provincial youth council. Member Friendship Centres are encouraged to appoint one youth representative to attend the provincial youth council (AAYC) and one youth representative from AAYC is appointed to represent Alberta youth on the national Aboriginal Youth Council (AYC).
Building on their own young history, founding and early AAYC member have moved on making room for new members. Past members cite their involvement in Friendship Centres and the AAYC as a turning point for their current life successes.
This impressive group of young people are representative of an array of Indigenous cultures found in Alberta. Metis, Dene, Cree Blackfoot, and Chipewyan youth join together to identify current issues, explore innovative solutions, advance personal skill development, access training and partake in cultural events and activities. The AAYC has participated in youth and Elder cultural retreats, and province-wide youth programming.
This energetic group is steeped in strength, vision and respect. Historically, representatives from the AAYC would join together to review and evaluate proposals from across Alberta for youth program funding under the federally funded Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Centres (UMAYC) initiative. Their direct involvement in this process was enlightening and empowering and ultimately instilled a sense of accountability and responsibility for solutions to overcome social issues faced at the community level.
The ANFCA’s provincial youth projects bring youth together from the 21 Friendship Centres in Alberta and promote development in areas such as leadership, cultural teachings, self-esteem, employment skills, and awareness, prevention, and advocacy for community issues.
Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council (AAYC)
The Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council is composed of one youth voting appointed or elected by each member centre for a two-year term.
The Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council is mandated to provide a youth voice and recommendations to the Board on the affairs of the Association that affect the youth members of local Friendship Centres; to help the Association represent and advocate at the provincial level for youth and the issues faced by youth members of local Friendship Centres; to encourage growth and leadership within the Alberta Aboriginal Youth Council through training and mentoring; and to foster a two-way working relationship with the ANFCA Board and Friendship Centre members.