Brief History of CNYC

CNYC Leaders – Past & Present

INCUMBENTTITLETERMAPPOINTMENT/ELECTION
Romeo SaganishPresident1985-87Appointed at 1985 Conference
Paul GullSpokesperson1987-1990Appointed by Council of Cree Youth
Robert KitchenSpokesperson/Chairperson1990-1992Appointed at Youth AGA
James A. ShecapioYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson1992-1996Appointed by Youth AGA
Bertie WapacheeYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson1996-1998Appointed by Youth AGA
Ashley IserhoffYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson1998-1999Appointed by Youth AGA
Ashley IserhoffYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson1999-2002General Election 1999
Marcel Happyjack,Youth Grand Chief/Chairperson2002-2005General Election 2002
John S. MatoushYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson2005-2008General Election 2005
Stacy BearYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson2008-2012General Election 2008
Joshua IserhoffYouth Grand Chief/Chairperson2012-2015General Election 2012
Alex MosesInterim Youth Grand Chief/Chairperson2015 –Appointed by Youth AGA 2015

1985 – A turning point for Cree Youth

Our leaders, and particularly our Elders, had grown increasingly concerned about the future for the Cree Youth, and consequently, the future of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee.

In 1985, the International Year for Youth, our political leaders at the Grand Council/Cree Regional Authority took action to address this growing concern.

The Grand Council formally initiated a process that lead to the opportunity for full integration and involvement of Youth in the political and decision-making process.

1985 – The first cree youth conference

Romeo Saganash and Paul Gull – Co-chairs

The GCCEI/CRA Council funded the first Cree Youth Conference, held on August 14 to 16, 1985 in Wemindji.  Forty-five (45) delegates from the nine (9) Cree communities attended and discussed:

Education, traditional pursuits, economic development, culture, treaties and agreements, Cree government and relationship with other Native Groups.

Highlight

The request to created the Cree Regional Youth Council and have it serve as a “training camp for future Cree Leaders.”.

1987 – Annual general assembly – supporting resolutions

The delegates adopted (GCCEI) members Res. No: (178/87) and CRA members Res. No: (162/87) to mandate the council of the Cree Regional Authority to immediately establish the planning and development of a Youth Department.

1987 – A task force on youth development

A Task Force established and funded by the Grand Council of the Cree recommended:

The creation of a Youth Department within the  CRA, fully dedicated to addressing the Youth issues; further, the objective, structures, and implementation of the new Department would involve the Youth directly.

Each community should have its own Youth Council, in accordance with objectives and structures determined by the Youth in each community.

1988-90: James Bay Cree Youth Implementation Committee

A committee with a Youth representative from each community was established with a mandate to develop and recommend appropriate objectives and structures for the proposed Youth Department. The committee recommended the terms of reference for:

 The proposed Youth Department; and,

The Cree Regional Youth Council, first requested at the Conference on Youth, in 1985. The committee fully supported the original goal that the Youth Council serve as a training camp for future Cree Leaders;

1990 – Creation of the GCCEI/CRA Youth department

In March 1990, the James Bay Cree Youth Implementation Committee lead by Paul Gull, Spokesperson presented their recommendations and budget to create a Youth Department under the auspices of GCCEI/CRA including the role and mandate of the ‘Cree Regional Youth Council.’

The recommendations of the JBCYIC were subsequently approved and the GCCEI/CRA Youth Department was created which opened its doors for operation in April 1990.

1990 – 1st Annual Youth General Assembly in Chisasibi

In the summer of 1990, the community of Chisasibi hosted the 1st Annual Youth General Assembly which was attended by forty-five (45) delegates from the nine (9) Cree communities. The delegates of the assembly appointed Robert Kitchen as CNYC Chairperson for a two year term.

1992 – Name change of Cree Regional Youth Council

The delegates of the 3rd Annual Youth General Assembly held in the community of Nemaska adopted members’ resolution to change the name of the ‘Cree Regional Youth Council’ to the “Cree Nation Youth Council.” James A. Shecapio was appointed as CNYC Chairperson for a two year term.

1995 – Title of Youth Grand Chief adopted

The delegates of the 6th Annual Youth General Assembly held in the community of Wemindji adopted members’ resolution to change the title of Spokesperson to Youth Grand Chief to be known as CNYC Youth Grand Chief/Chairperson.

1999 – CNYC General Elections

In summer of 1999, the CNYC held its 1st General Elections for the position of Youth Grand Chief/Chairperson. Ashley Iserhoff was elected as CNYC Youth Grand Chief/Chairperson.