The Council of Elders and Youth is an advisory body to NWMO management. It provides counsel on the application of Indigenous Knowledge in the implementation of Adaptive Phased Management. In addition, the Council of Elders and Youth provides advice on issues that could enhance the development and maintenance of good relations with Aboriginal communities.

The NWMO recognizes that Indigenous Elders carry the wisdom that connected their peoples to all creation since the Creator placed them here on Turtle Island. The NWMO also acknowledges that Elders possess an understanding of Mother Earth that constitutes traditional science, which enabled their ancestors to live in harmony with nature. The NWMO further respects that Elders are the custodians of traditions, customs, and values of their respective societies, and form a link between the past and the future.

There are many teachings of the Indigenous people here on Mother Earth. One of these teachings speaks of the Peoples of Mother Earth and how they have all been given different gifts and tasks to do. The Peoples must work together in balance like the four legs of a table to work effectively here on Earth.

The Elders have much traditional knowledge to share with others. One of their roles is in aiding in decision-making based on this ancient knowledge. The NWMO has been honoured to have received the counsel of Elders over the past several years. It seeks to enhance this relationship of mutual support and respect as it continues to implement its mandate in harmony with the traditional teachings of the Indigenous peoples.

The Council of Elders grew from the Elders Forum, a previous advisory group that was in place between 2005 and 2012. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, a new Terms of Reference for the Council of Elders was developed. In July 2012, the NWMO established the Council of Elders. During a traditional ceremony, former members of the Elders Forum were honoured. They were thanked for their years of advice and thoughtful assistance to the NWMO, and to Aboriginal organizations and communities involved in the NWMO’s work.

Mission Statement

The Council of Elders and Youth will provide advice to the NWMO that will help protect and preserve all creation: air, land, fire, water, plants, medicines, animals, and humankind – guided by the seven universal teachings of love, trust, sharing, honesty, humility, respect, and wisdom.

Members of the Council of Elders and Youth (July 2012–present)

Elders

This photo is of Elder Donna Augustine, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Donna Augustine

  • Rexton, NB
This photo is of Elder Angus Gardiner, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Angus Gardiner

  • Île-à-la-Crosse, SK
This photo is of Elder Diane Longboat, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Diane Longboat

  • Six Nations of the Grand River, ON
This photo is of Elder Grace Manitowabi, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Grace Manitowabi

  • Sagamok First Nation, ON
This photo is of Elder George Morin, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

George Morin

  • Prince Albert, SK
This photo is of Elder Dorothy Parenteau, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Dorothy Parenteau

  • Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, ON
This photo is of Elder Billie Schibler, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Billie Schibler

  • Winnipeg, MB
This photo is of Roland St. Germain, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Roland St. Germain

  • Owen Sound, ON
This photo is of Elder Bily Two Rivers, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Billy Two Rivers

  • Kahnawake, QC
This photo is of Elder Gordon Williams, a member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Gordon Williams

  • Orleans, ON

Youth

This photo is of Shavonne Custer, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Shavonne Custer

  • Peter Ballentyne Cree Nation, SK
This photo is of Jeff Kinew, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Jeff Kinew

  • Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, ON
This photo is of Madison Levi, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Madison Levi

  • Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, NB
This photo is of Brandon Petahtegoose, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Brandon Petahtegoose

  • Atikameksheng Anishinawbek, ON
This photo is of Rayanna Seymour, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Rayanna Seymour

  • Big Island First Nation, ON
This photo is of Norman Stagg, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Norman Stagg

  • Fisher River Cree Nation, MB
This photo is of Rebakah Wilson, a youth member of the Council of Elders and Youth.

Rebakah Wilson

  • Owen Sound, ON

Members of the Council of Elders and Youth are not expected to represent the views or positions of any Aboriginal organization or community. Members are independent Elders and youth representing their own perspectives. The NWMO does not expect members of the Council of Elders and Youth to represent, or to speak on behalf of, the NWMO.