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The 2024 Incomindios UN Youth Scholarship Delegates!

We are delighted to introduce the 2024 Incomindios UN Scholarship Youth Delegates ahead of the start of UNPFII: Daanis Pelletier, Crystal Lewis, and Dayana Blanco Quiroga who will be joining us in New York for the 23rd session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. For the first time this year we are introducing the Indigenous Mentorship Program, advised by our scholar alumni network. Cassandra Spade will be this years mentor, who was the first Incomindios UN youth scholar at UNPFII 2019 supporting the team this year. The scholarship was created by Dr. Alicia Kromer and Incomindios in 2018 to facilitate, support, and enhance more Indigenous youth voices at the UN level, connecting with Elder delegates, and maintaining a strong focus on Indigenous knowledge solutions in climate revivalism.

About the Scholarship

The Incomindios UN Youth Scholarship aims to support young Indigenous activists and advocates, who are also scholars, in their pursuit of Indigenous rights and environmental justice, by fully funding their travel and accommodation to the annual United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York since 2019.

The UNPFII 2024 Team

Daanis Pelletier (Anishinaabe, Fort William First Nation, Canada)

Daanis is Anishinaabe from Fort William First Nation - an Ojibwe community located on the north shore of Lake Superior in Canada. As a sugar busher, advocate, and young leader, she aims to nourish and protect Indigenous nationhoods through promoting the resurgence of our inherent knowledge and legal systems. Daanis’s work has taken her across Canada and to Aotearoa/New Zealand where she focused on partnership building in service of strengthening Indigenous territorial governance. Daanis will be attending as the Incomindios UN Youth delegate to UNPFII this April 2024. Follow our accounts to support her advocacy at the UN! 

Crystal Lewis ( Squamish/Vancouver/Canada)

Crystal is a highly engaged Indigenous advocate and youth leader from the Squamish Nation in Canada. Guided by the principles of "Be the change you wish to see, lead by example, and take action,” Crystal's unwavering dedication is exemplified by their engagement in global issues. Crystal has worked with and in different levels of government, where she has been advocating for climate action, social justice, cultural revitalization, and youth welfare, they have made a significant impact on provincial, national, and international scales. A two-time candidate in Squamish Nation Council elections, Crystal focused on sustainability, wellness, transparency, and sustainable housing, embodying their commitment to positive change. Selected as one of five individuals nationwide to work on Parliament Hill, Crystal contributed to GreenPAC's Indigenous Youth Parliamentary Internship Stream and played a crucial role in formulating Canada's First Ever Youth Policy. Their journey also includes confronting discrimination, fostering language studies at SFU, and earning numerous awards. Crystals' professional endeavours extend beyond political realms to community development projects, anti-human trafficking initiatives, and nominations for UNA-Canada roles in policy recommendations for international peace and security. Through persistent determination, Crystal Lewis continues to make a profound impact on their community and beyond.

Dayana Blanco Quirgoa (Aymara/Oruro/Bolivia)

Dayana is an Indigenous Aymara professional from Oruro, Bolivia. She is currently working with the Indigenous Uru Uru Team. It is an initiative that was born to restore the Uru Uru Lake, which is being affected by the effects of climate change, mining, and plastic pollution. Dayana and her community are working on designing nature-based solutions by putting into practice their traditional knowledge. Their main objective is to restore the Uru Uru Lake, a source of life for their animals, crops, and the community's livelihood. They decided to put into practice their traditional knowledge by using native aquatic plants called Totora. First, they elaborate floating rafts made of recycled plastic bottles, which they found thrown as rubbish in Uru Uru Lake. The floating rafts are the bedrock to allocate the Totoras. Then, they put the floating rafts with the Totoras in the Uru Uru Lake's polluted waters; through the powerful work that Totoras are doing, we can see how nature can heal herself. Dayana and her community want to recover harmony with Pachamama to hear again birdsong, have food to feed llamas and cows, and consume clean water without suffering stomach aches from the polluted waters of the Uru Uru Lake. Dayana and her Uru Uru Team are the recipients of the Equator Prize and we are thrilled for their groundbreaking work of Indigenous environmental advocacy and climate revival implementation!

Follow and support Dayana and the Uru Uru Team here:

Our first Indigenous UNPFII Youth Mentor:

Cassandra Spade, Anishnaabe, Canada

Cassandra Spade is an Anishinaabe grassroots human rights activist from Northern Ontario, Canada who champions Indigenous language revitalisation in her community. Cassandra was one of the first Incomindios UN Youth Scholarship Delegates in 2019. She has went on to study Indigenous law and founded her own Indigenous youth NGO called Northern Voices/GAAM, a project designed to revitalise the Anishinaabe language and culture to the youth in her community. Based upon the feedback of past UN youth delegates, we have initiated the Youth Mentorship program, designed to connect past UN youth delegates with present ones, to strengthen connections and strengthen and expand youth voices on Indigenous rights and climate revivalism at both the local and UN level.

Visit and support her Indigenous youth NGO here: 

Keep updated throughout UNPFII '24 by keeping an eye on our blogs at Incomindios and Incomindios UK and @incomindios and @incomindiosUK socials!


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