Cando’s third annual Economic Development Youth Summit will return to delegates across the nation in a digital format this August.

Between Aug. 10 and 13, there will be up to 60 spots available for First Nation, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous delegates in Canada to apply at no-cost to this year’s annual Economic Development Youth Summit to learn about the positive impacts of Indigenous Economic Development through workshops, panels and presentations with cross-cultural lessons.

“Cando had been planning for the Economic Development Youth Summit for 15 years before we executed the first one in 2018,” said Paul Macedo, Cando spokesperson. “There were two main reasons: the first is to showcase Indigenous economic development as a career path for Indigenous youth because what we were finding is that the folks who were coming into Economic Development Officer (EDO) were coming into the path in their 30s or 40s, and a lot of them have said if they would’ve known about this opportunity sooner and how they could impact their communities, they would’ve been interested in developing this career sooner. We wanted to allow youth to be exposed to what the work of an EDO is and what the impact of economic development can have on their community. The second was even if youth decide through being part of the summit that’s not what they want to do for a living, it still imparts information about how to make sound decisions about economic development in the community. It empowers them to ask better questions about economic development to the community.”

Cando’s (Virtual) Economic Development Youth Summit will work in 10 teams of eight participants each to learn how to positively impact their nations and chartered communities through economic development.

Youth between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply at no-cost to apply to the summit and will work together to present a five-year economic development strategy for a fictional First Nation community and present their recommendations for a panel to judge.

“The teams will need to present why their strategy is the most comprehensive, well thought out plan for economic development,” said Macedo, noting the presentations will be evaluated for financial prizes, mentorship opportunities and for ongoing development as well as travel to next year’s physical summit in Alberta.

Applications for Cando’s third annual virtual Economic Development Youth Summit has been extended and will close on Wednesday, July 29.

There will be a total of $7200 in prizes given out for the team that wins first, second and third place in the competition as well as academic credit from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology for credits toward an Aboriginal Community Economic Development program certification.

Participants attending eligible programs at Algoma University, Aurora College, Cape Breton University, University of Lethbridge, University College of the North and the University of Winnipeg are eligible for accreditation too.

In addition, two of the top delegates will be awarded with a post-event mentorship opportunity valued at $1750 through Canadian Executive Service Organization for being a “mover and shaker” and for being an “outstanding delegate.”

“This is an opportunity for the two candidates to have an experienced mentor working with them after the summit to get 1-1 time with an expert to help shape their plan, their strategy moving forward,” said Macedo.

“That’s a huge prize for someone that is young and interested in developing a business idea and starting a business.”

For more information about the summit or to submit your application to participate in this year’s event, please contact Danielle Stanley at danielle.stanley@edo.ca or by phone at 1-800-463-9300 Ext. 229.

For more information about accreditation, please visit: http://www.edo.ca/certification/accredited-programs