Toronto and York Region Métis Community

MNO Candidate for Youth Council Chair Person: Sabastian Koprich

April 8, 2024

Sabastian Koprich (He/Him) is excited to be given the opportunity to run for chairperson of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Youth Council. Raised on a lavender farm in Delhi Ontario and visiting his grandparents in Britt on the Byng Inlet every summer, Sabastian has cherished every opportunity to connect with the land. Since 2018 when he first moved out to start his academic journey at Conestoga College in Kitchener, he has grown to be independent, determined, and eager to learn more about his Métis ancestry.

He has always known that his mother’s side came from Croatian and Hungarian descent and loved learning about cooking delicious European dishes from his great grandmother and his grandparents today. But he didn’t know much about his paternal family history until around 2019 when he first got his citizenship. Although Sabastian kayaked the waterways of his ancestors on Byng Inlet, harvested berries and fish, and loved boating over to visit the Gereaux Island lighthouse where his great grandfather worked, he didn’t always know he was Métis or what being a Drummond Islander meant. Early on in his learning journey it felt like there was little he knew about his Métis identity. This gap in knowledge, sometimes guilt, and frustration is a reality many youths have faced in reconnecting to their families’ stories that have been lost with time. Sabastian strongly believes that reconnecting to our languages, place-based knowledges, traditional foods/medicines, and/or being a part of community are important for solidarity among youth. In this journey Sabastian recognizes that we are all at various stages of learning; some of us are already sharing learned knowledge with confidence to others which is inspiring and supporting future generations.

He is proud to be Métis and to acknowledge his ancestry is from the Solomon and Berger/Beaudoin family lines. He has since completed a Pre-Health Sciences Certificate at Conestoga College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at Trent University, and is in his final year of his Master’s in Public Health. In the past Sabastian was a peer mentor for first year Indigenous youth, a summer youth program facilitator for the MNO and was an MNO Infinite Reach Coordinator at Trent University. He now works at the provincial level to promote health and wellness for Métis citizens as a graduate student research assistant and is actively engaged with the Health and Wellness Department and Métis Languages Advisory team at the MNO. In his role as MNO youth council chairperson, Sabastian wishes to work with Youth Council leadership and representatives across the province to provide consistent and meaningful engagements for Youth. He emphasizes wanting to spend more time either virtually or in person with youth to build relationships, organize on-the-land engagements, follow one another’s learning journey, and create a space that continues to foster identity and leadership among Métis youth.

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