Riley Yesno is an Anishinaabe woman from Eabametoong First Nation who grew up in Thunder Bay, ON. She currently attends The University of Toronto studying Indigenous Studies and Political Science. From 2017 to 2019 Riley acted as a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council where she provided advice to the Prime Minister and members of the federal government, among others. She has worked with Indigenous leaders across the country on a First Nation’s Self-Determination advisory board, and has spent the past two summers working with Nishnawbe Aski Nation under their executive council. Riley also works closely with grassroots organizations such as Neechee Studios in Thunder Bay, offering free art programming to Indigenous youth.
Riley has participated in over 100 panels, workshops, and conferences; including a young women’s panel at the UN Conference on Climate Change’s 24th Conference of the Parties in Katowice, Poland, the Institute on Governance’s Nation-to-Nation Dialogue Series, and the Rotary Club’s International Conference. She has given a keynote address in Stockholm, Sweden, at the World Forum on Gender Equality, and has delivered a TEDx talk on Canadian identity. Riley is a part-time writer and has contributed to major Canadian media outlets including Maclean’s and the Toronto Star, where she primarily covers youth, and Indigenous issues. She hopes that through story-telling and building relationships she can contribute in her own way to building a better place for future generations to call home.
Indigenous students on campus: Going past the equity handbook
What a letter about a pipeline taught me about ageism
Before reconciliation is possible, Canadians must admit the truth
Jody Wilson-Raybould testimony reveals another tough lesson for Indigenous youth
In speaking your truth you may face obstacles, resistance, and violence; the systems you thought were good may be worlds more problematic than any one person’s presence can fix, but you can always speak freely and boldly, because your communities and nations will rally behind you — like Jody Wilson-Raybould, you never sit alone, even if it looks like you do.
Where to learn about Indigenous cultures in the GTA
A vote for Doug Ford was a vote against reconciliation, says Riley Yesno
CBC RADIO | THE CURRENT
From coast to coast and north to south, Indigenous women are on the rise
CBC NEWS | LENARD MONKMAN
Why this 19-year-old student wants you to think critically about Canadian identity
TVO.org | BY HALEY LEWIS
A member of the PM’s Youth Council reflects on National Aboriginal Day and looks ahead to the future
CBC TV | POWER AND POLITICS
How Riley Yesno gained the courage to stand up for Indigenous rights
CBC PODCAST | NEW FIRE
PANEL DISCUSSION ON RECONCILIATION
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA | PRIME MINISTER’S YOUTH COUNCIL
10 GTA girls who will make you feel better about the future
BY REIKO MILLEY
SEVEN FALLEN FEATHERS, EPISODE 4: RILEY YESNO
VOICE ED RADIO | SUMMER BOOK CLUB PODCAST
For information about writing, upcoming events, or any other inquiries, please fill out the form below.
For more updates you can find Riley on Twitter.
Sometimes I think the world isn’t as bad as I tend to think it is but then I remember that I have about 300 people blocked on Twitter.