BYTE is super sad to be saying farewell to one our longstanding Community Outreach Coordinators, Angela Code. Ang has been with BYTE since August 2014 and has played a huge role bringing BYTE’s programming to where it is today, especially her involvement with the This Is Our Land and MOVE workshops. On her last day, here are some of Ang’s reflections about her time at BYTE:
What’s been your biggest highlight of working with BYTE?
If it wasnâ€™t for BYTE, I wouldn’t have had so many opportunities to travel to so many communities â€“ especially those more remote communities like Old Crow. Having lived here for many years,Â Iâ€™ve acquired friends from all over and itâ€™s been great to be able to visit them in their home communities. I also lovedÂ building relationships with various community members through our programming.Â One highlight for me is ski-dooing with the Old Crow youth and sledding and snowboarding down Crow Mountain. Cross-country skiing and skijoring with them was really fun too. I really admire those kids for their sense of adventure, bravery, confidence and humour. Old Crow reminds me so much of my own home community of Tadoule Lake, MB â€“ so I always love going up there. I love the caribou culture â€“ and the connection to land in general. The people of Old Crow are some of the most welcoming and generous people I have ever met. I really appreciate how the people of OC always invite BYTE to join community feasts and events.
How has working at BYTE impacted you?
I really enjoyed helping to organize community events like The Canada Day Skateboard Competition, The Atlin Music Fest Youth Stage and the Future Routes Music Festival. Hustling for sponsors and organizing all the logistics was a great learning experience for me. Itâ€™s been fun.Â Working at BYTE has greatly improved my facilitation skills, communication skills and overall sense of confidence in working with others within a group dynamic. BYTE has given me incredible insight into working for the non-profit sector/ the â€œhelping industryâ€ and working with youth.
How have you impacted BYTE?
One thing that I am proud to have contributed to BYTE is the implementation of more indigenousÂ content to our programming as well as fostering new partnerships with more First Nation organizations like Our Voices.Â I think that because I am aÂ northern indigenous youth, other northern indigenous youth can relate to me, and I believe that I have been a positive role model for some â€“ at least I hope so! Haha.Â Iâ€™ve really enjoyed working with youth, especially â€œyouth at risk,” and I hope that I have made some positive impacts on their lives.Â One BYTE program that I am really happy to have been a part of is the MOVE-Youth Ending Violence program. This program deals with a variety of topics including discrimination (racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, classism etc.), systemic oppression, the Indian Act, Healthy Relationships, Consent, Safe Partying , Anti-oppression and Leadership.
How has BYTE been supportive to you?
BYTE has always been supportive of me participating in events that fall under BYTEâ€™s mandate, such as attending and speaking at Dene Nahjoâ€™s Northern Indigenous Womenâ€™s Gathering in Yellowknife, NWT in December 2014.Â BYTE also really supported my involvement with speaking out against violence against women â€“ particularly the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. I was able to participate in the Walking With Our Sisters art exhibit and donated a pair of beaded uppers on behalf of BYTE. I have also been able to participate and speak as a member of ReMatriate.Â BYTE is very supportive of their staff. They believe self-care is very important particularly within this industry of supporting others. I have been able to take time off to do the things that â€œrefill my cupâ€ so to speak â€“ like going hunting, tanning hides and participating in Dene Hand Game Tournaments. In June 2016 I was able to take time off work to travel to Lutselke, NWT to tan hides with Dene Nahjo, then do some BYTE workshops in my home community of Tadoule Lake, MB. Iâ€™ve really appreciated the flexibility and support that BYTE has provided me, even giving me the opportunity toÂ attend the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York City as 1 of 7 Canadian Youth Representatives, such an incredible experience.Â
Why is BYTE’s work important?
The people who work at BYTE are passionate about improving the health and general well-being of the whole Yukon community. Everyone who works here is knowledgeable and passionate about social justice and equity. As an organization BYTE strives to empower youth, to build their confidence, instill pride in their culture, and have fun while doing it! Youth empowerment not only helps youth but communitiesÂ as a whole. Empowered youth are leaders in their own right. They have positive impacts on everyone.Â Iâ€™ve met some really great people who work/worked at BYTE! Itâ€™s easy to make friends with your co-workers when you are all like-minded individuals.
What’s next for you?
Iâ€™d like to travel abroad for a while and visit a few friends in various countries throughout Europe. I love travelling, meeting new people and learning languages and experiencing new cultures and landscapes – Iâ€™m really looking forward to it! When I get back,Â I plan to work with my parents Allan and Mary Code on some filmmaking projects. Including digitizing older video, film, audio and photograph material, translating and transcribing Denesuline material, and creating new films. This work will prepare me to embarkÂ on my future Masters Degree â€“ which Iâ€™m hoping to begin in Fall 2017. IÂ also plan to spend time living back home on my Sayisi Dene reservation at Tadoule Lake, MB. In spring 2017, Iâ€™d like to bring in some lumber on the winter road so I can build a platform for a wall tent or a small cabin and live and work there for a few months before I go back to school. Iâ€™ll probably get a job working with my band â€“ and continuing my work empowering youth.
Thank you BYTE for employing me for the past 2 years! Itâ€™s been a slice! Iâ€™ve learned a lot. Contributed where I could. Met some really interesting, great people. Made a bunch of new buds. Had so many amazing experiences. And Iâ€™ll definitely stay tuned for all the upcoming work yâ€™all do.
Peace, Love and bone grease!