Indigenous youth weren’t involved in creating COVID-19 policies — here’s why that needs to change for recovery

In part two of the Canadian Roots Exchange policy hackathon, Indigeous youth share future-forward visions for COVID-19 recovery — from self-governance to economic empowerment

Why It Matters

When creating COVID-19 protocols, the government didn’t always engage Indigenous communities, leaving many Indigenous leaders out of the decision-making process. Moving forward, that has to change; Indigenous youth are Canada's fastest-growing demographic, and for full COVID-19 recovery — one that takes into account the wellbeing of Indigenous communities — young policy leaders need equal say in building a better future.

This story is in partnership with the Canadian Roots Exchange.

Living in downtown Toronto, Alex MacLeod runs Alexdals’ Creations Inc., an Indigenous, LGBT-owned arts business. They have grappled with the challenges of running a small business during the pandemic, all while taking criminology and a double major in Indigenous studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. “My primary focus is making sure that people’s rights are protected, so I wanted to look at [Indigenous issues] from a policy perspective.”

MacLeod says that certain COVID-19 policies violate Indigenous rights. They explain that in Toronto, while holding civil protests goes against physical distancing protocols, “we’re using our land, and we’re demonstrating on an Indigenous-specific issue — which is a t


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