After many years of dreaming, the SCCFS Youth Advisory Council came to fruition in 2021. The Surrounded by Cedar Youth Advisory Council (YAC) acts as a united voice for issues impacting urban Indigenous youth in care and provides a safe environment to learn about modern life, and Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
The Youth Advisory Council (Y.A.C) hosts regular council meetings and consists of approximately 20 youth. The goals and objectives of the council are to build on life and work skills, while both participating in and providing training opportunities, and giving back to the local and global community. They work on projects that educate the public/community about what it means to be an urban Indigenous youth in or from care and are involved in speaking at conferences and one youth representative holds a seat on the Governance Board Directors for Surrounded by Cedar. The Youth Council helps identify concerns amongst young people and provides feedback around wise practices for all professionals working with Indigenous youth children and youth in or from care, while being a part of making change within the child welfare system. As part of their work, they seek out funding opportunities to support special activities the Council may be interested in pursuing, connect with local knowledge keepers and Elders while strengthening their individual identities as Indigenous youth.