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Dylan Whiteduck - National Youth Panelist

Shari Narine
Cando Contributor

Dylan WhiteduckDylan Whiteduck has his eyes set on becoming chief of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, the largest Algonquin community in Canada.

And the 28-year-old Algonquin member has a plan. Whiteduck presently serves as economic development officer on Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, where he lives. His goal is to develop an Economic Development Corporation for his First Nation community, which will lead to it becoming self-sufficient and start generating its own source revenues. Then he wants to become chief.

“When projects are developed within our traditional unceded territory, the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community is going to be key players in economic development the next three to 20 years. The time has come for us to lead our people and build a sustainable First Nation community,” he said.

Whiteduck completed the business management and entrepreneurship program from Algonquin College, in Ontario. He is currently enrolled in the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association program offered by Lethbridge College, in Alberta.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to come back home and serve my First Nation community,” he said. He has worked as an economic development officer for two years where he guides, promotes and aids the development of businesses for KZA members. He also conducts research for band-related business ventures.

Whiteduck sees himself playing an integral role as KZA moves forward on clean energy projects, off-reserve developments and tourism ventures.

He was nominated to serve on Cando’s National Youth Panel by Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck. Wrote Chief Whiteduck, “(Dylan) has been an integral part of this community and team …. I believe (he) has gone beyond the benchmarks that were set for this position. He has taken on many new projects and brought forth many new ideas and ventures.”

Chief Whiteduck also acknowledged Dylan’s “many traits and skills” along with his desire to contribute in every way possible.

Dylan says he is honoured to be nominated to the panel and feels that his business development knowledge can be an asset as a panel member.

“I will cherish this experience and I am looking forward to connecting and working with like-minded First Nation people across Turtle Island,” he said.

Whiteduck’s priorities centre on his First Nation community: developing a youth council, which will provide a voice and feedback to chief and council; developing a business arm that will provide economics and job opportunities for future generations; and, bringing back Algonquin values and traditions, such as culture, hunting and language.