Youth committee gears up
Focus on identifying concerns and improving options for city youth

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 25/98) - The Youth Advisory Committee adopted by city council in May should be functioning by next month, says Coun. Robert Slaven.

The purpose of the new group is to consider and make recommendations to city council through the community services committee on issues referred to it by council, or any of its standing or special committees, relating to the city's youth.

"The city clerk is in the process of contacting the various groups and getting the names of who should be on the committee," said Slaven.

"Basically, it's to be a forum for involved youth in the city to express concerns and help develop and recommend solutions to issues relating to Yellowknife youth."

When in place, the committee will include Slaven, Mayor Dave Lovell (ex-officio) and 11 members of the community between the ages of 12 and 17.

Each member will be appointed for a one-year term and the committee will meet at least nine times annually.

The idea for the youth committee came from a recommendation from Mike Bryant during the all-candidates forum in last year's election.

Slaven said council feels, at the very least, the committee would afford people a place to air their grievances and also provide a different viewpoint.

"You see things differently when you're 35 than when you're 15," said Slaven.

"At the very least it's an empowering exercise and, with any luck, we'll get some good results out it in terms of innovative solutions."

Slaven said he hopes youth involved on the committee will be able to provide insight into the city's recreational priorities as well as services it could provide in meeting the needs of youth.

"Granted, the city's not going to be able to provide all the answers, but a youth committee might help city council come up with some answers," said Slaven.

"I'm hoping we'll have the names picked fairly quickly so that we can have our first meeting in October and go from there."

The youth on the committee will be represented by two student council presidents from each of the two Yellowknife education districts and one each recommended by the Yellowknife Dene First Nation; North Slave Metis Alliance; Side Door Youth Drop In Centre; Scouts of Canada/NWT; Guides of Canada/NWT; Big Buddies of Yellowknife;RCMP/courts.