Fort Nelson First Nation
BCAFN Female Youth Representative
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza is of Eh Cho Dene and Dunne Zaa ancestry. Her Nations are signatories to Treaty 8 and their traditional territories cover modern day Northeast BC. Growing up in the North, Taylor experienced and witnessed the obstacles that people in rural and remote communities face and she has worked to bring those stories and experiences to leaders at all levels. Culture, education and sports has kept Taylor focused on breaking harmful intergenerational cycles and she is passionate about creating a future that First Nations youth want and deserve. Being a Dene handgames enthusiast, beginner dry meat maker and beader, Taylor knows the importance of learning and carrying on culture and traditions. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education and has taken her education abroad to Australia and Hawai'i where she studied International Indigenous Studies which has broadened her understanding of how our resilience and perseverance as Indigenous people globally has helped shape our world. Representing BC at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in 2013 and 2014 has set the premise for Taylor representing our province in a good way.
Working with Indigenous youth in the fields of health, recreation and life promotion for the last several years, Taylor ensures that culture, language and community-connection are the foundation for every program and initiatives she is a part of. Advocating and speaking at events across the province and country allowed Taylor to voice her concerns and share her ideas that have advanced First Nations youth capacity to be leaders in their communities and beyond. She also brings with her governance experience by sitting on boards and committees such as the board of directors for the Airdrie and District Hospice Society, and is currently an Executive Member of the Indigenous Graduate Students Association at the University of Alberta and a member of the Life Promotion for All My Relations Youth Advisory Committee at First Nations Health Authority.
Coming to the BCAFN, Taylor brings both excitement and willingness to learn about Indigenous governance and policy. Building on her previous experience of working with community and youth, she hopes to engage youth all over BC to get involved in politics and learn more about the work currently being done. Taylor works to serve First Nations people and is honored to hold this position as Female Youth Representative
Okanagan Indian Band
BCAFN Male Youth Representative
For years Justen has been intrigued by the concept and practices of Indigenous Economic Development and the empowerment that economic independence brings to communities and individuals. Recently, he completed the Indigenous Youth Internship Program with the Province of B.C. where he worked with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology in the Joint Office of Indigenous Economic Development which taught him about the relationships that First Nations have with the Province of B.C. and the opportunities that exist.
Justen is excited to see increased Indigenous ownership of natural resources and trade and the opportunities that will have for entrepreneurs. He aspires to have a career in economic development that will help individuals build onto their competencies so that they can sustain healthy communities.