Thanks to everyone who joined First Call on the evening of February 28, 2019, to enjoy words from Michael Redhead Champagne, accomplished speaker and an award-winning community organizer, public speaker, and a proud member of Shamattawa First Nation.
Our annual fundraising galas are an occasion to celebrate our child and youth advocacy as well as to raise much-needed funds to ensure we can continue to put BC’s children and youth first.
Thanks for joining us for an evening of good food, good company and the inspiration Michael shared from his lived experiences, courageous advocacy, and healing messages.
About Michael – Our Keynote Speaker
Michael grew up in and around the child and family services system, living through the suicides of many people he cared about, gang violence directed at himself and his peers, and the lack of opportunity for youth growing up in similar circumstances. This led to the founding of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) in 2010. This volunteer youth movement exists to uplift urban Indigenous youth, and provide them a platform to share their gifts with the world.
Michael believes we all have a gift and shows youth the path to discover their own. He is solution oriented and passionate about building system literacy, encouraging volunteerism, and engaging communities to be involved in the design, delivery, and evaluation of any initiative that affects them. Michael believes in leading by example and now travels across Canada sharing his gift with others. Whether he is speaking to educators, youth, the business community or the not-for-profit sector his goal is the same, to help heal, shape and create a call to action for everyone. Michael is known for his straight up and heartfelt style that will leave you moved, inspired and ready for action.
He has received a multitude of awards for his courageous advocacy and organizing, including the 2017 Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding Indigenous leadership and was recognized in TIME Magazine as a Next Generation Leader.
About Katie – Recipient of 2019 Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award
Katie is a distinguished journalist with the Tyee and will receive the 2019 Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award at the gala for her extensive work on B.C. education, foster care, Indigenous issues, housing and poverty. She was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and moved to Vancouver in 2008 to complete a masters of journalism at UBC.
Through her eight years of reporting for the Vancouver-based online magazine The Tyee, Katie has applied a social justice lens to her reporting on the issues facing children and youth in the province. In particular issues that impact low-income, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, and racialized young people and their families. For example earlier this year Katie reported a 13-part series on the creation, fall out, and possible solutions to the Canadian-made Indigenous child welfare crisis that sees half of the kids in government care today identifying as Indigenous.
Reporting on what happens to children growing up in B.C. matters not only because children are literally our future, the next wave of decision makers, caregivers, and problem solvers. But also because they aren’t granted the legitimacy in our society to advocate for themselves. Until that changes, media must continue to amplify the voices of children and their advocates to ensure the next generation doesn’t need to spend their adulthood recovering from their childhood.
Presenting Sponsor: Vancity
Living Wage Sponsor:
Child and Youth Advocate: