Lance Copegog is an Anishinabe from Beausoleil First Nation, currently serving as the Youth Chief of the Beausoleil First Nation Youth Council. He has served as Deputy Youth Chief of Beausoleil First Nation, a member of the Ontario Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, interim regional Youth Representative for the Union of Ontario Indians, and a member of the Ontario First Nations Young Peoples’ Council. Lance has been recognized as a politically savvy young leader, a good communicator, and a relationship builder.
His journey in Indigenous youth leadership began in November 2016, when he was appointed as Deputy Youth Chief. Along with a group of other dedicated youth, Lance started the Beausoleil First Nation Youth Council from the ground up. He developed key policy documents from the Youth Council, such as its Leadership Manual, Election Policy, and Terms of Reference. He was given portfolio responsibility for Administration and Political and Intergovernmental Affairs. Deputy Youth Chief Copegog has been consistent in meeting with federal and provincial governments, building relations with local municipalities, and advancing the promise of truth and reconciliation.
He became a member of the Ontario Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities in May 2017. The Council gives advice to the Government of Ontario on matters impacting youth. Lance provided policy advice on the development of cannabis legislation and the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, 2017.
During the 2018 Ontario Regional Chief election, Lance served as youth advisor to then-candidate RoseAnne Archibald. He provided the campaign with political advice, logistical support, and liaised with 133 First Nation communities. Archibald was elected as the first female Ontario Regional Chief in June 2018.
In October 2018, Lance was appointed as the Anishinabek Nation’s Youth Representative for its southeastern region. The communities in his region include Alderville, Beausoleil, Curve Lake, Georgina Island, Pikwakanagan, Rama, and Scugog Island First Nations. He is also a member of the Ontario First Nation Young Peoples’ Council, advocating on behalf of youth from all 133 First Nation communities in Ontario.
He remains active at various levels of government, across philanthropy and grassroots, and in different organizations to serve Indigenous youth.