Welcome everybody here in this room. My name is Ryan Erless. I am 31 years old. I am from Waskaganish. I am married to Rachel Longchap and we recently had our first child.

This evening, I am going to give you examples how to find hope and hope that I can leave an everlasting speech to you.

What is hope? Everybody has hope, hope is in you. That’s what helps you achieve what you want in your life. You never stop having hope. Many of your hopes will not happen right away. You have to work to achieve what you’re looking for. Even, if it takes a long time. Eventually, you will get what you hope. It takes self-determination to achieve what you need.

I know there are a lot of youth who are troubled by many things in their personal lives. I was there too, nobody’s perfect. Many times I thought my life was broken, nobody understood me or cared enough to listen to me. I failed many times but I did not quit. I told myself, “I am still young and it’s never too late. I can do a lot better if I try a little harder.” It was that light; that hope in my life that kept me hanging on. That was the energy for me to change my life. When I started changing my life, I noticed the positive changes happening; I found love again.

When you show love to others, you inspire others to show love also. You inspire them to be better persons. They follow your example. Youth, always remember that there are children who look up to you. You are their role models. What they see you do is what they will try to do.

When I was child, I was always amazed by Cree translators translating for preachers. I always wondered, how many words did they know. I thought they knew many words. That inspired me to focus on my Cree language education. Today, I am still studying the Cree language, you never stop learning.

There may be times in your life that you may think that there is no hope for you. Always remember; never give up in your hopes. We as humans, we prepare for tomorrow. We plan what we will do or where will we go. That was the gift that we were given, to be able to think and talk. In times if you don’t have hope, just remember the birds God created. The birds do not worry about tomorrow. They did not plant fields for their food nor dug up wells for their water. They start their days by singing in the early morning. They praise God. Then they start on with their daily routines, hoping to find food and water and especially to nesting birds. Somehow at the end of their day, they manage to feed their young. They never lose hope.

Don’t be shy to ask for help, everybody needs help. Like our leaders. They ask for help, they never quit and that’s why they succeeded. Hope and determination is the most powerful combination that you can have. There will be twists and turns in achieving your goals. The road may seem long and hard and impossible to reach your goals. Just as you think of quitting or say that you cannot do it.

Look into yourself and see the light of hope and hear my voice saying, “You’re almost there, don’t give up.”

Thank you all for listening to me.

English speech by Charlot Merle Jolly from Nemaska

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, distinctive guests, co-contestants and judges. My name is Charlot Merle Jolly. I am 16 years old, an only child and from the small community of Nemaska.

My mother is Edna L. Neeposh. She is the Special Projects Coordinator of the Cree Regional Authority Youth Department and is one of the many organizers of this Youth Symposium. My father is Billy James Jolly, who is a Home Care Worker for the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.

My parents were together on and off for the first 12 years of their relationship, meaning the first 11 years of my life, but they have been happily married for the past seven years. Both of my parents are recovering alcoholics who have been sober for the past six-and-a-half years.

I have three half-sisters, one is a year younger than I, and one half-brother who I acknowledge and have met and gotten to know a little.

I have introduced you to my parents, a little bit about their struggles and my struggles to show that my life is not perfect, but there is hope for everyone, whatever their struggles may be, but you have to be willing to go through them and make that change.

I am proud to be standing here before you this evening; to be able to share what “Inspire Hope” means to me and the many ways that you can “Inspire Hope” in yourself, your family, your friends, your peers, your co-workers, youth, Elders, leaders and even strangers.

The word “Inspire” means to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration; to fill with an animating, quicken or exalting influence; to give life to; or make alive; to make more rapid; accelerate; to raise in rank, honour, power, character and quality.

The word “Hope” means the feeling of what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best and to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment.

These are some of the ways that you can “Inspire Hope” in yourself; to keep a positive attitude; to dust yourself off from all the negative feelings; to not associate with negative people; to stay away from all the negative things like smoking, drugs, alcohol, sniffing, gambling, etc…; to leave the past in the past and live for today, because tomorrow may never come; and always keep in mind that things could be worst

The following are some ways that I “Inspire Hope”. I stay smoke-, drug- and alcohol-free, obey my parents, stay indoors at nights, and stay in school. Talking about school, I may have struggled in the past year, but I have a chance of graduation from high school this summer. I also “Inspire Hope” by being on the summer-student employment program for the past four summers and have worked at the daycare every time, because I am a boy and male educators are not the norm in Nemaska; I am polite, respectful, I have a good behaviour and I giving out free hugs to my parents, my family, my friends, my peers, my classmates and teachers.

Now, let’s talk about some of the ways that you can “Inspire Hope” in others. You can choose to change the way you look, treat, think, talk and feel about others. You can change the people you hang around with and turn away from your negative behaviour. You can choose to change your life from this day on. You can forgive, love and move on, be more compassionate, considerate and caring; you can become a better person; you can go back to school; pursue your dream; start exercising; go on a diet; eat healthier; reach your weight goal; become a mother again; you can choose to share your struggles and how you have overcome them, because it will only bring hope to the hopeless.

You can “Inspire Hope” by simply smiling at a person, lending a helping hand, shaking and holding a person’s hand, hugging and padding a person on the back, saying “Hello”, “How are you”, “Good luck”, “Take care’, “You can do it”, “You are not alone”, “I am not going anywhere”, “I have been thinking about you”, “I care about you”, “I like you”, “I love you” and “Jesus loves you”.

But the greatest way to “Inspire Hope” is to tell someone about God and about heaven, because God is hope and he is the source of all the good things in life.

In closing, I would like to thank my parents for turning their lives around so that we can have a better life, because I could have easily given into peer pressure and followed their footsteps, but with their support, correction, encouragement, direction, and sharing of struggles, I have been able to choose my own path.

And thank you to the Cree Nation of Nemaska Youth Council for giving me the opportunity to represent them; the Cree Nation Youth Council for organizing this exciting event; the judges and everyone for listening to me, I hope that all of the contestants and I have given you hope so that you too can give hope to others. Meegwetch! Thank You! Merci!

French speech by Babbey-Jane Happyjack from Waswanipi
now living in Val-d’Or

Bonjour tout le monde. C’est un grand honneur de m’adresser à tous les gens qui sont présent ici ce soir. Je tiens à remercier nos ainés,  tous les membres de l’organisme qui ont planifié cet événement spécial, parents, amis, collègues et tous les participants du concours. Bonne chance a tous !
En tant que modèle  pour nos jeunes,  coach de ma communauté, athlètes, parents et éducatrice à la petite enfance.  J’ai l’honneur de prendre la parole devant tout le monde pour exposer mes vues sur l’importance d’inspirer et inciter nos jeunes à pratiquer des activités physique régulièrement. Je vous expliquerai en détail les effets positifs du conditionnement physique pour la prévention et sur l’évolution d’un certain nombre de maladies, de problèmes sociaux et mentaux.
Mon objectif est aussi de vous persuader que s’exercer quotidiennement et d’adhérer à une alimentation saine est la solution pour mener une longue vie en santé. Je vais maintenant vous expliquer quelques faits que la science a prouvé et vous rappeler ce que beaucoup de personnes oublient ou ignorent : Les cotés bénéfiques du conditionnement.
J’ai lu un article qui disait que 60% des Canadiens estiment que leur vie est stressante et que l’activité physique pratiquée durant les temps libres est un excellent moyen de soulager les tensions. Les autochtones sont plus susceptibles que les autres d’être atteint de diabète. Le diabète touche nos jeunes plus que jamais. C’est pour ça qu’il faut savoir le gérer et prendre des initiatives positives pour promouvoir la santé et le futur de notre génération. Ils faut aider nos jeunes à pratiquer plus d’activités physiques qui vont les aider à gérer le stress et à s’adapter le mieux possible à savoir comment se relaxer, se détendre musculairement et mentalement, à avoir du plaisir et en profiter pleinement. En le pratiquant, ils apprendront à se fixer des objectifs réalistes sur le plan de la performance et contrôleront leur émotions en se défoulant de façon physique, par exemple: en frappant sur un ballon, en faisant plus d’activités traditionnelles et de sports.
Je sais que si nous faisons tous un effort pour changer le mode de vie de nos jeunes, nous pourrons prévenir les problèmes que notre société connait aujourd’hui comme le stress destructeur, maladies, drogues, diverses formes de violence : contre soi-même (suicide, anorexie) contre les autres (agressivité, sexisme, racisme) et contre l’environnement (vandalisme).
Comme je l’ai mentionné au début de mon exposé, si vous mettez en application les idées que j’ai partagées avec vous, pour vous et pour les êtres chers qui partage votre vie, je suis persuadée que vous remarquerez un grand changement sur votre vie quotidienne et votre estime de vous. Où je veux en venir, c’est que les faits que j’ai mentionnés m’ont conduit à mener une vie en santé, ils m’ont aussi aidé à surmonter la dépression et le stress, en plus de me faire perdre 75 livres !!!
J’aimerais vous quitter  sur cette dernière réflexion…
Dans la vie, nous sommes responsables de ce qu’on est et de ce qu’on devient. En prenant de bonnes décisions nous pourront contrer toutes formes négatives qui pourraient affecter notre future génération. Ensemble nous pouvons le faire parce qu’une nation qui lutte les uns avec les autres, est une nation invincibles !
Merci d’avoir été un auditoire très attentif. Vous avez rendu ma tâche très agréable.
Bonne soirée à tous !