A gathering on Prince Albert will take a look at a number of community based initiatives which are proving to have success in northern communities.
Matt Heley, the CEO of New North, a northern advocacy group, said this year’s Northern Justice Symposium will highlight the efforts of northern residents in a variety of areas.
“The agenda can change from year-to-year,” Heley said. “This year we wanted to really focus on the success stories, because after 12 or 13 years of doing these symposiums they start to get a little bit stale.”
At the end of the 2016 symposium, Heley was approached by Île-à-la-Crosse’s mayor Duane Favel who wanted to hear about the programs and projects which are working.
Groups from Pelican Narrows, La Loche and Cumberland House are among municipalities to send representatives to speak about their positive programming and what it’s doing for their communities.
While leaders will have a platform to share their ideas and initiatives, Heley said there will also be a collection of government and justice representatives to discuss new programming and changes.
Dignitaries from across the province and country will be present. A Canadian Senator, Lillian Dyck, is set to be the keynote speaker at the gathering.
“They don’t hold back; we found that, across the symposium in general, people speak their minds very freely,” Heley said. “We’re really expecting Lillan Dyck to just open up and tell us what she thinks, honestly, and from the heart, and I think that kind of direct, honest response is exactly what we need.”
Youth will also have a platform to speak at the Northern Justice Symposium.
A recent shift in including youth in discussions around policy and the way it’s created is lending them more say in things according to Heley.
“We were all youth at some point,” Heley said with a laugh. “The world is changing, and I think it’s changing so fast now, what we experienced and what the people in the North experienced when they were youth is different from today.”
On Twitter: @BryanEneas
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