BYTE – Empowering Youth Society is a “by youth, for youth” organization that focuses on empowering and promoting youth throughout the Yukon and Canada’s north. Our facilitation team travels to communities throughout the Yukon and to some areas of Northern BC and NWT to deliver innovative and relevant workshops to northern youth. We also host events and conferences in Whitehorse that foster creativity and culture. Everything we do is about helping youth to develop confidence, skills, openness, and a sense of belonging.
Our Mission: BYTE creates spaces for Northern youth to lead. We do this through facilitating interactive workshops and opportunities for youth.
Our Vision: Northern youth have developed their strengths and skills to lead happy, healthy, and meaningful lives. Youth are heard and respected in their communities and are creating positive change.
1. BYTE is for youth, by youth.
2. We are northern and focus on the Yukon and the North.
3. We meet youth where they are at without judgement.
4. We recognize Northern youth have unique skills and strengths.
5. We strive to be relevant to youth. We are innovative and believe in constant learning and adaptation.
6. We believe in championing youth voices.
7. We believe in inclusivity. Equity, equality and social justice are important to us.
8. We believe in the importance of healthy relationships, including relationships with ourselves, Northern youth, communities and each other.
9. We believe in the ongoing recognition of Indigenous rights, lands, knowledge, perspectives and experiences.
10. We strive for transparency.
11. We practice financial and environmental sustainability.
BYTE – Empowering Youth respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch‘än Council and we will acknowledge the Traditional Territories when we travel to northern regions.
In 1998, Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE) began to surface out of Yukon’s need to have a organization with youth ideas, plans, and initiatives at its core. Supported by the PAYY Coalition (Positive Action with Yukon Youth), a group of energetic youth decided to put together the first Yukon Youth Conference. It was a major success. The group reassembled later in the spring to form BYTE to plan for more conferences and to publish copies of Toxic Blend, a ‘zine made by and for Yukon youth. Since day one, BYTE has been an organization that is driven by and for youth in the North and one that celebrates their talents!
After several years of organizing successful Yukon Youth Conferences, we started to turn our attention to youth who weren’t making it to Whitehorse for the conference and in 2007 Community Tours were born! Community tours still make up the most important part of what we do today: bringing relevant programming to youth in their communities and truly meeting them where they are at! To do this, we regularly poll Yukon youth on what issues they face, want to learn more about and take action on. Then we create programming surrounding these outcomes.We regularly poll Yukon youth on what issues they face, want to learn more about and take action on. Then we create programming surrounding these outcomes.
In recent years, the BYTE staff team has created experiential workshops ranging from safer partying to healthy relationships, we have recruited and trained an on-call youth facilitation team to deliver the workshops in schools and rural youth centres in the Yukon, Northern B.C. and the Northwest Territories and we are always looking to add new, exciting workshops to our roster!
In 2014, we made another big change and we changed our name from Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE) to BYTE – Empowering Youth Society! The change not only reflects some of the new things the organization was doing but also honours that the young people who make up this organization and the young people we work with don’t need to be brought anywhere – we are already where we need to be! At BYTE – Empowering Youth Society we aim to give youth space for their ideas, passions and to practice the skills and strengths they already have.
Lastly, as we come up on celebrating 20 years of BYTE, we want to recognize all the energetic, enthusiastic youth who have shaped and directed the organization. We have been lucky to have so many talented and passionate individuals work here. Each staff offers a new set of skills which allows us to reach out and connect with a larger number of Yukon youth. Each staff has also brought new and exciting projects and workshops to our organization such as MOVE!, Leaders in Training and This is Our Arctic. We can’t to see what the next 20 years bring!
Board of Directors
BYTE is privileged to have a diverse and experienced Board of Directors, who provide valuable guidance to the organization. It includes experienced youth-workers, professionals and young people from the Whitehorse community.
Our 2020-121 Board members are:
Liz Peredun – Co-Chair
Dave Blottner – Co-Chair
Véronique Maggiore – Treasurer
Desirée Pinkerton – Secretary
Edgar Musonda – Director
January Dawn Aguilar-Rosales – Director
A core value of BYTE is transparency. Therefore, we have set up this page to provide access to important information about the organization.
BYTE is a Registered Charity and therefore, detailed information about BYTE’s finances are available via the Canadian Revenue Agencies website.
Each year, BDO Canada performs a detailed review of BYTE’s financial reporting. You can view these reports here:
Policies and Procedures
BYTE’s full Policy & Procedure Manual can be found here: BYTE Policies & Procedures Manual May 2015
BYTE has recently produced a new set of by-laws, and these have been finalized through a vote at the General Meeting on Jan. 18, 2016. You can take a look at those by-laws here.
2020-2021 Annual General Meeting Presentation
Press releases are distributed periodically via email to BYTE’s list of media contacts. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Press Releases
- December 9 -Exhibit made by youth in Old Crow and Inuvik on display in Toronto
- November 30 – BYTE seeks donations for Giving Tuesday
- September 25 – BYTE seeks to engage young voters in all candidates forum
- September 14 – Future Routes Festival featuring Battle of the Band returns Friday, September 19
- July 30 – Future Routes headliner announcement
- July 14, 2015 – Yukon hip-hop duo heads to eastern Canada
- July 1st, 2015 – Canada Day Skate Comp to take place July 1st
- June 18, 2015 – BYTE unveils new name and logo
- June 15, 2015 – BYTE’s Annual General Meeting to take place Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Older Press Releases
- May 19, 2015 – Four young women to speak at BYTE ConneX for Sexualized Assault Prevention Month
- April 16, 2015 – Young Entrepreneurs to gather in Whitehorse for Yukon UpStarts Conference
- March 25, 2015 – Youth Photography Exhibit to display at YCC Conference
- March 10, 2015 – Registration Opens for Yukon UpStarts Youth Entrepreneurship Conference
- March 3, 2015 – BYTE to host third annual LIT Conference
- November 20, 2014 – Young entrepreneurs to discuss business ventures at BYTE ConneX
- October 14, 2014 – Arctic youth photography on display in Coquitlam, BC
- October 1, 2014 – BYTE’s online facilitation guide unveiled