Chesterfield Inlet pictured on the Premier’s Youth Council
Growing up in Chesterfield Inlet, Sarah Mazhero never expected to meet the Canadian Prime Minister. But just months into her two-year tenure on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, she finds herself on regular Zoom calls with Justin Trudeau.
“It was a bit surreal, it’s not every day that you get to talk to the prime minister,” Mazhero said.
Mazhero is one of 10 young candidates selected from across the country to participate in the council. The group meets regularly to discuss issues that are important to them, with a view to influencing government policy.
Mazhero said she was shocked to learn that she had been selected for the job in June.
“This is something that is a very unique opportunity,” she said. “I was just very grateful to have been selected through this process. As young people we don’t see how these things happen and it affects our opinions.
Mazhero was born in Vancouver to Zimbabwean parents. Her family moved to Chesterfield Inlet when she was just four years old. Although Mazhero eventually moved to Montreal with his father, his mother still works as a head nurse in the community to this day.
“I had my formative childhood there from 2000 to 2007, then I moved to Montreal for the rest of my studies, just because of how schooling in Nunavut can be,” she said. declared. “I am lucky and privileged to have been able to do this.”
Mazhero said the disparity between education in Indigenous communities and the rest of Canada is one of the issues she hopes to bring to the Prime Minister’s attention.
“There is still work to be done to ensure that students in Nunavut schools have the same opportunities as in the south,” said Mazhero.
Recently graduated from Concordia University, Mazhero majored in political science with a minor in First Peoples Studies. Growing up as a Black Canadian in Nunavut and studying Indigenous issues in school, Mazhero said she was passionate about advocating for minority rights.
Regarding Nunavut, she is particularly interested in telling the Prime Minister the importance of having clean water, addressing the lack of food security and poor housing conditions. She also wants to make sure she is a voice for black Canadians.
“We tend to compare ourselves to people south of the border, and we always say that we are not like African Americans and that we do not treat black Canadians the same. But there is still racism that Canada must recognize, ”she said.
Mazhero participated in student politics at the university. She also currently works for Airbnb, where she is responsible for reviewing cases of discrimination.
In the long run, Mazhero said she hopes to go to law school to better understand the inner workings of the legal system.
When it comes to a future in politics, Mazhero said she hasn’t made a commitment to anything yet, but is interested in the prospect.
“With the right time, I would like to have a leadership perspective so that people are represented and let them know that I am there to help them. We will not close this door.