Membertou elects youth chief and council

·2 min read

MEMBERTOU, N.S. — Membertou First Nation has elected a new youth chief and council team after elections on Monday.

“I was very surprised and blessed,” said Jada Paul, the newly elected youth chief.

The 16-year-old served last year as a youth councillor.

The youth chief and council team serve as a direct line to Membertou’s chief and council, bringing concerns and challenges the youth face to the community leaders.

Paul sees her role as a bridge to raising those concerns and hopes to bring more youth activities to the community in uncertain times.

“During the COVID-19 (pandemic) we haven’t done anything lately, so I’d probably try to do some more activities, following the COVID-19 guidelines,” said Paul.

She wants to see more outdoor and cultural activities in the community, like regalia making, drumming and learning to dance.

Paul is a Grade 11 student at Sydney Academy and also hopes to build stronger bridges between non-Indigenous students and Indigenous students. She wants to see a Nitap day (my friend in English), where she hopes the Mi’kmaw students can share stories with their peers about what life is like living on the reserve — in an effort to build friendships and understanding.

“I want to be a role model for the youth in the community and try to help out other children,” said Paul

In her spare time, Paul enjoys singing, baking and likes to sell her baked goods. Her parents are Mary Ellen Paul and Blair Paul.

This year the number of youth councillors increased from nine to 12.

The first meeting of the new council is set to take place in the coming days.

Paul is looking forward to being a voice for the youth.

“I’m really excited that I can give my thoughts to chief and council,” said Paul.

Oscar Baker III, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post