Cando Youth Connect

Youth Connect LogoCando Youth Connect is a platform to empower Indigenous Youth (18-35) and allies across Turtle Island to participate virtually to discuss topics such as Economic Development, Lands Management, and Entrepreneurship.

Youth will have an opportunity to share details on events in their regions, as well as resources, tips and strategies with their peers. As a result, youth can be more powerful catalysts for positive change and contribute innovative solutions to current challenges in their communities.

This monthly platform will be hosted by Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias, Cando’s National Student Director,  and will incorporate guest speakers withvarying backgrounds and expertise as part of the discussion.

Youth will be able to network with their peers via breakout rooms and have an opportunity to ask the guest speakers questions one on one.

Youth Connect May

Upcoming Youth Connect Forum:

Date: May 7th -
12:00pm (MDT)/ 2:00 pm (EDT)

Register for this zoom session:


May 7, 2021; 12:00 pm (MST), 2:00 pm (EST)

Opening Remarks: (5 minutes)

Opening Remarks: 
Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias


Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias

Read Bio


Economic Development Panel:  (20 minutes)

Dustin Fiddler- crop Sydney Paul crop  Thomas Benjoe

Dustin Fiddler

Band Councilor
Waterhen First Nation

Sydney Paul
Ec Dev Officer
Eel Ground (Natoaganeg)
First Nation

Read Bio

Thomas Benjoe

President & CEO,
FHQ Developments

Read Bio

Breakout Session: 20 minutes

Closing Remarks: 5 minutes

Register for the May 7th zoom session:

Economic Development Panel:

Dustin Fiddler

Dustin Fiddler- cropDustin Fiddler was born in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory. He has lived all across Western Canada but his home has always been in the boreal forests of Northern Saskatchewan. Through his upbringing he was taught traditionally from his elders as well as his strong mentor and uncle, Sidney Fiddler, a former Chief of Waterhen Lake First Nation.

Currently, Dustin is a Band Councillor who was recently elected to his 3rd consecutive term in his home community of Waterhen Lake First Nation where continues to strive for stronger education, better communication, and to further economic progress. He remains a strong Indigenous male role model for the youth in his community through a connected approach and healthy lifestyle. His biggest motivation is building and setting up success for the community’s youth. He hopes that he can spark a genuine interest in leadership and business within that next generation.

A few of the main priorities over his term in council have been building up the First Nation’s capacity through working on various acts and policies that will govern the nation. Dustin also works on various portfolios including Communications, Child & Family Services, Education, and Economic Development. Dustin recently became a Fellow with Action Canada – a National Public Policy Forum leadership program. Dustin was also previously a panelist for CANDO’s 2017 Annual National Youth Panel, Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s Youth Leadership Panel, and The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Youth Legislative Assembly Young Community Leaders Panel.


Sydney Paul

Sydney Paul cropSydney Paul is a Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) woman from Kingsclear (Pilick) First Nation.  She is a mother to a beautiful daughter, named Sloan Morning Star, her German Shepard, Ranger and partner to, Tyler. She graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in 2015.  After obtaining her BBA, she went on to continue to further her education and receive her Masters Certificate in Project Management from UNB Extended Learning. In addition to her studies at UNB, she also received her Technical Aboriginal Economic Development Certification (TAED) from the Council for the Advancement of Native Officers (CANDO). Some of her work experience has been as Band Manager and Director of Economic Development for Kingsclear First Nation. She is now employed as the Economic Development Officer for Eel Ground (Natoaganeg) First Nation. She enjoy CrossFit, being active and supporting the Wolastoqey and Mi’kmaq people.

Thomas Benjoe, B. Admin. Pro. Dir.,
President & CEO, FHQ Developments

Thomas BenjoeThomas Benjoe is the President & CEO for FHQ Developments and is from the Muscowpetung First Nation. His background includes Indigenous Business, Governance and Economic Development as well as Commercial Banking.

Thomas is a founding Board of Director’s member for FHQ Developments and was named President & CEO in 2016. FHQ Developments manages Indigenous Investments, Partnerships and Economic Development that creates the greatest economic impact where they do business while utilizing Indigenous knowledge, thought and value systems to create a better economic future for the Nations and Citizens of the File Hill’s Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.

Thomas currently serves on the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce as 1st Vice Chair (Incoming Chair May 2021), Innovation Saskatchewan Board Member, First Nations University of Canada Spring Celebration Powwow Committee (Co-Chair), Member of Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, and the Council for Entrepreneurship Growth (Economic Development Regina/Audacity YQR).

Thomas was recently featured from in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine as a Top 50 Changemaker in Canada, served as the 2019/20 United Way “Community Champion”, the recipient of the Crowning Achievement Young Alumni Award from the University of Regina (2017), recognized by CBC's "Future 40"(2013), the Red Cross' "Young Humanitarian of the Year"(2009), and a "Top Performer" Convention Winner which recognizes the top 1% of RBC employees (2015).

Thomas was also recognized as a Top 10 Most Influential Economic Developers by Treaty 4 News, a feature that profiles business leaders, job creators and entrepreneurs who have made a valuable contribution to improving the lives of Indigenous people through business and have helped keep Saskatchewan’s economy vibrant and strong.

Register for the May7th zoom session:


Recent Youth Connect Forums:

April 9th, 2021

Opening Remarks: 
Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias



Read Bio




Cando TAED/PAED Certification Overview:


Carmelle Nepoose Anita Boyle

Carmelle Nepoose

Read Bio

 Anita Boyle

Read Bio

Entrepreneurial Panel Interview

Mallory Yawnghwe Michelle Nieviadomy  Erica Daniels

Mallory Yawnghwe
Indigenous Box Inc  

Michelle Nieviadomy
Iskwew Health

Read Bio

Erica Daniels
Kejic Productions

Read Bio


Youth Connect Forum

Recording of the Youth Connect Forum


Youth Connect Logo
Cando Youth Connect Logo
Designed by Bearskin Designs
Bearskin designs
Oneida Indigenous-owned art and clothing
inspired by the beauty of our Mother Earth

This initiative generously sponsored by:


FCC Logo

Cooperatives First


Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias:

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-PewapisconiasAubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias is a 22-year-old Cree woman from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation on Treaty 10 Territory and has roots to Little Pine First Nation on Treaty 6 Territory through her father’s family. As a fourth-year commerce student, majoring in Finance, at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, she aspires to work with Indigenous communities on sustainable economic development projects.

Within her campus, Aubrey has been heavily involved in student organizations since her first-year in post-secondary, including the Edwards Business Students’ Society, Edwards JDC West, the Finance Students’ Society, and the Indigenous Business Students’ Society. Here, she held both general council and leadership roles while co-founding the Indigenous Business Students’ Society in 2018, which operates on a governance system based on traditional Indigenous values and recently began implementing an Indigenous Initiatives Strategy within the college.

Apart from school, Aubrey also brings with her work experience from non-profit organizations. Aubrey worked for Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority in the Procurement department, and then moved to Corporate Affairs. After this, Aubrey went on to work for Indigenous Clean Energy as an Events Management Assistant, where she currently still works and learns more about her passion for a clean energy future. Lastly, Aubrey is involved with Cando through her attendance at the 2nd Annual Cando Economic Development Youth Summit, as a panelist for the 15th National Youth Panel, and is now in her second term of being the National Student Director for Cando.”


Mallory Yawnghwe

Mallory YawnghweMallory Yawnghwe, is a nehiyaw iskwew from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in North Eastern Alberta. She is a recent graduate of MacEwan University School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain Management, and is three years into her career as a Project Procurement Specialist with Alberta Infrastructur

Mallory thrives on challenge and is driven to overcome her fear of the unknown to make a difference in this world. Sometimes accused of being overly optimistic, Mallory has used her positive attitude, humility, and perseverance to grow from an awkward, shy, nail-biting, floor gazing teenager, just arrived in Edmonton, into a respected Supply Chain professional, independent business and community consultant, and educational facilitator. Most recently, she has taken a big leap into the role of President and CEO of her new start up Indigenous Box Inc. 




Michelle Nieviadomy

Michelle Nieviadomy

Michelle Nieviadomy is Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) with a passion for wellness, social justice & community development.  

She is a member of Kawacatoose First Nation and while her roots are in Saskatchewan, she has called Edmonton home for the past 20 years.

She is the Assistant Director at the Edmonton Native Healing Centre. 

She is an entrepreneur with her own business called Iskwew Health promoting health & wellness in various capacities! (Zumba, meditation, bootcamp, fitness kickboxing, wellness retreats)  She believes movement is medicine & connection is everything!



 Erica Daniels

Erica Daniels

Erica Daniels is owner of Kejic Productions a business that provides video production, photography and graphic design services. Erica was one of the presenters on the National Youth Panel at the 2020 Cando Conference.

Erica Daniels, a member of Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, immediately fell in love with Just TV, a multimedia program offered to at-risk youth in Winnipeg.

Daniels, who was contemplating dropping out of high school, was convinced by a teacher to check out the Just TV program.

After seeing other Indigenous youth performing live on stage, she decided that was a venture worth pursuing and to continue her education.

While at the Just TV program, Daniels learned a variety of multimedia skills, including camera operation, production, lighting, audio, editing, public speaking and interviewing.

After discovering some of these nuances of the multimedia industry, Daniels went on to graduate from a pair of programs offered through the National Screen Institute – the New Indigenous Voices Program and the IndigiDocs Program.

  Carmelle Nepoose Certification Coordinator (West) - Cando


Carmelle Nepoose is from Samson Cree Nation of Maskwacis, Alberta.

Carmelle has Business Administration Accounting Diploma from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She was previously employed with Samson Cree Nation for the last four years, where she was a dedicated employee in the Residential Development department as a CMHC Coordinator. She is very passionate about helping her Nation and Nation members by providing the best resources for programs available.

For the last 2 years, Carmelle was the Special Projects Coordinator, where she oversaw the regional events before she transferred into the role of Certification Coordinator (West

Carmelle looks forward to having the opportunity to work with many accomplished Indigenous Economic Development Officers and Land Managers from across Canada. Working in this position she has gained valuable work experience and enjoys networking with professionals in the field of Economic Development.



Anita Boyle - Certification Coordinator (East) - Cando

Anita BoyleAnita is from the Metepenagiag Mi’k​maq Nation in New Brunswick. She is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick where she earned a Master in A​dult ​Education degree along with a Bachelor of Arts and Education degree. She also holds a diploma in Human Resource Management, and recently became certified under the Canadian Career Development Foundation.

Anita's has extensive experience and skills in Economic Development, Community development, Indigenous Education and Training, and Women's issues. ​Anita facilitates training and workshops across a range of topics including Career counselling, Guiding Circles, and Community planning.







Check out the recording from the March 12th Virtual Youth Forum



Special Guest March 12 Forum: Stanley Barnaby:


Stanley BarnabyTaking some specialty courses during his post‐secondary education has paid off handsomely for Stanley Barnaby. Stanley, who is from Quebec’s Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation, attended the University of New Brunswick, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. While at UNB, Barnaby also took the necessary courses to obtain his First Nations Business Administration Certificate. By fulfilling the requirements for this certificate Barnaby met the criteria to obtain his Technician Aboriginal Economic
Developer (TAED) certificate through Cando, the national Indigenous organization which promotes economic development.

Stanley credits his Cando certification with helping him land some of the jobs he has held.
“It certainly helped me with some of the employment I’ve had in my career,” he said. “It being on my resume really helped.”

Stanley is currently the Finance & Operations Manager for the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), based in Fredericton, NB. JEDI promotes Indigenous economic and workplace development to 15 First Nation communities throughout New Brunswick. Stanley started off as the finance intern at JEDI two years ago before he was promoted to his present job, one in which he oversees numerous ventures.

Besides community economic development, JEDI provides services including entrepreneurship, apprenticeship and employment counselling to Indigenous individuals. Before joining JEDI, Stanley Barnaby held a pair of jobs in his home community. He was a financial analyst in commercial fisheries, working for the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Governement for one summer. And he gained finance experience working for the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat, also in Listuguj. Stanley continues to speak highly of Cando.

Stanley’s involvement with Cando continues to expand. In February 2021 Stanley was elected President of Cando.

Stanley is also a strong believer in giving back. He recently completed a mentorship through the Cape Breton University inbusiness program. Through this venture he assisted Indigenous youth from across Atlantic Canada to complete assignments covering topics such as finance, accounting and marketing.


This initiative generously sponsored by:



FCC Logo

Cooperatives First