Job Title: Indigenous Community Engagement Advisor, Norquest College
A job at the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta was only the beginning of Elliott Young’s career in community engagement. For two years, he travelled across the province advocating for young people in the child welfare and youth justice systems.
Young has since taken his skills to NorQuest College, where he collaborates with Indigenous communities in and around Edmonton to improve programming and increase the number of Indigenous students attending. He has facilitated the commitment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NorQuest College and the Maskwacis Cree Tribal Council. A regular guest lecturer, Young seeks to nurture relationships between Indigenous, international and newcomer students on campus.
“I approach my work through my Nehiyaw teachings, which emphasize the importance of interrelatedness, kinship and Indigenous knowledge.”
When he isn’t working on his Master’s in Community Engagement at the University of Alberta, Young is an Indigenous Circle Member with EndPoverty Edmonton and volunteers with the Edmonton Heritage Council as a committee member and mentor. Born and raised in Ermineskin Cree Nation, he continually returns to what he learned around his nohkom’s kitchen table.
“There were so many lessons about love, humility, kindness and compassion,” says Young. “Those story teachings influenced my understanding of relationality and help me move forward in a good way today.”
This article appears in the November 2020 issue of Edify