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Motivate Canada – Motivate Canada is pleased to welcome our new GEN7 Indigenous Youth Role Model Program Manager, Leland MacLeod!

Leland is of mixed Mi’kmaw/Acadian/Settler ancestry and has worked as a GEN7 Messenger with Motivate Canada since 2012. Over the years, he has done youth-driven development work in communities across Ontario, in Quebec and, most recently, in Nova Scotia at the 2018 ViaYOUTH Atlantic Summit. Leland has a passion for youth advocacy and empowering young people to believe in themselves, their gifts, and how they can make positive changes in their home communities.

He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with Honours from Carleton University in Sociology and Indigenous Studies and has several years of experience as a part-time mentor and tutor for Indigenous students in the public school system. Leland has also worked in the Canadian Army reserves for over 15 years where he learned the value of effective leadership and how to motivate others to challenge themselves and overcome obstacles. Leland was also a Program Officer with the National Association of Friendship Centres for several years.

Leland takes pride in his ancestral roots and is dedicated to continually learning more about Mi’kmaw culture, language and history. He is passionate about embracing ancestry, cultural traditions and how they can enrich our lives and our sense of identity.

“GEN7 encourages us to be passionate about communities, about who we are, and about the beauty of our own unique identities,” shares Leland. “As Messengers, we want to see youth get stronger, more confident and more outspoken about what they believe in. GEN7 Messengers mentor and support youth to imagine and build community action projects based on what the youth believe in, the current community needs, and what the youth hope to see in the community’s future.

The basis of GEN7 youth mentorship is that youth learn how to operate beyond the threshold of what they previously believed was possible. By meeting a GEN7 Messenger, a role model who has surpassed their own expectations of themselves, youth begin to question the limits they have set upon themselves, and the things they believed were not achievable. Through that experience, youth break their own sense of limitation by questioning the things they have labelled as impossible for themselves. Once youth have done that, they can begin to accomplish things they never expected were possible.”

Leland can be reached directly at

GEN7 Indigenous Youth Role Model Program

The GEN7 Indigenous Youth Role Model Program was established in 2004 in partnership with the Aboriginal Sport Circle. Since it’s inception, GEN7 Messengers (Role Models) have worked with more than 70 Indigenous communities and impacted the lives of more than 8000 youth. In 2018, Motivate Canada hosted the first “GEN7 Sunrise” gathering with the goal of designing a new collective vision for the future of the program. A Strategic Framework for the program was developed out of the Sunrise, and will guide the program’s future growth and development.

Motivate Canada

Motivate Canada is a Canadian charitable organization specializing in Youth-Driven Development (YDD) – a unique youth social impact framework that unlocks the innovation potential of young people while empowering them to create positive change within their communities.

Since its modest beginnings in 1994 as a single program organization in British Columbia, Motivate Canada has expanded its reach and mission to deliver YDD initiatives across Canada in partnership with like-minded organizations.