Waswanipi is hosting the first-ever gathering of First Nations youth from across Quebec Aug. 15 to 17.

The gathering is expected to draw 300 youth from across the province. They will be joined by Elders and speakers from across Canada.

The speakers will include filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, athlete Waneek Hornmiller, Elders Robbie and Sally Matthew, Jonathan Mianskum of the White Tail Singers and Vancouver black activist Terry Simmins, who will speak about racism.

Also on the agenda are workshops, education sessions and “a lot of social activities,” according to Waswanipi Youth Chief Glen Cooper, who came up with the idea for the gathering.

“We’re trying to be as general as possible and hope the youth will take the helm because this has never been done before. We want to hit all the issues,” said Glen.

“The idea has been around for a long time but it has never been successfully attempted.” Initial funding came from the local and regional youth councils, and more money came in later from the entities and outside governments. The youth are still fundraising; only about half the costs have been covered so far.

For more info call (819) 753-2890.