DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Two


Thunder Air LogoPalgrave Rotary Club, Thunder Air, Aeroplan donors (Hans Koehle, Maria Da Cunha, Cheryl Vhal, Victor Ford), The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through The Arts Program, TD Bank Group, and the Paul Semple Scholarship Fund are supporting this project.

Thu. June 9, 2016 | Written by DAREarts Artist-Educator Glenn Marais | Day Two

Day 2 photoTo start, it is sunny up here and warmer and that is a fantastic start to what was an incredible day. I was exhausted by the end of it, but exhilarated at the same time. In one day, these remarkable and resilient young people took on the challenge of creating, arranging and tracking a song.  I arrived at 9:30 and set-up the room to look like a recording studio, similar to the way Doug had the room set-up the night before. I suspended a studio quality mic from the ceiling and created a mixing and recording area near the blackboard. I wrote out the lyrics from the night before and hung the charts on the board. We had the intro rap minus the final line, the breakdown rap, which also needed the last line, the first verse and two lines of the second.  Two students Tyson and Julian spent most of the morning with me and we gave them rap names, Biggie T and Dr J. Biggie T nailed the rap, Dr J, added native drum and a student named Skylar dropped in a voice box beat before heading to North Bay for a conference. He promised me he would do this before he left and it speaks well of his character that he came in to do this before he left.   The day slowed down after lunch as we struggled with finishing the second verse and rap sections. Students who there the night before, came in at around 2:30 and the new energy revitalized us all.  We quickly finished the verses, raps and wrote and composed a melody for the chorus. All of us sang the guide track together and I re-recorded the guitar and guide vocal. We are ready to record their voices tomorrow. I think it is fantastic that different students came in at different times to work on the song and the accumulated energy has created something magnificent, inspiring and a song that speaks with the voice of the youth of Attawapiskat with clarity, definition and an absolute certainty about what makes them strong and who they are despite the challenges they face. Their story is in the lyrics of the song. The media has it wrong; their world can be messy on the outside, but inside is strength and love that comes from the creator and their families and they consider it a blessing and a deep part of who they are.  I admire them and have grown incredibly fond of them all already in a short time.  It’s not a question of if I will come back here, only when and how can I get here.  I have been blessed with this journey and I will return that blessing by keeping my new friends in my heart and mind and give all that I can to help them in any way possible. That is what it means to be human and a true Canadian.

DAREarts Attawapiskat 2016
Walking for Peace
Written by Glenn Marais and the students of Attawapiskat

Intro Rap
Take a look at the media, but not everything is as it seems
You see crisis after crisis, but you don’t see what we see
In this community we are fighting for equality and peace
Increase, decrease, deceased, something here needs to be done

V1-Going through good times and bad times, but I’m still holding on
I wish I could talk to someone but there isn’t anyone I can count on
I got myself back up, nobody was there, I worked hard making the money flow
When I speak my mind is when I feel strong

We’re walking for peace
Looking for hope
While we are still young
We come together as one

V2-I feel weak when I get turned down, from the world around me that I have found
The outside may not be pretty, but the inside’s home it’s all I got
The creator’s deep inside of me, carries that light deep inside of you
Helping others is what I do, when I’m looking for the strength inside it’s true


Rap Breakdown
Having the land by your side, guiding you through this life
So peaceful and so bright
The outside may not be pretty, but the inside is home to many
I want it to be about the good side of “Atta”
I want it to be about the things that “Matta”


DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat – Posts by Artist-Educator Glenn Marais
Read Day One
Read Days Three & Four
Read Day Four Thoughts
DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat – Posts by Artist-Educators Cathy Elliott & Shelley MacDonald
Read Days Five, Six & Seven
Read Day Eight
Watch “Walking for Peace” by the youth of Attawapiskat

DAREarts is a children’s charity that uses the arts to empower youth at-risk to become leaders. Our lead sponsors are Northbridge Insurance, Scotiabank, TD Bank Groupand the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


7 thoughts on “Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Two

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day One | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Four Thoughts | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  3. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Days 3 & 4 | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  4. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Days Five, Six & Seven | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  5. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Eight | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  6. Pingback: DAREarts Attawapiskat: Walking for Peace | DAREarts | DARE2blog

  7. Pingback: Guest Post: DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat, Day Eight | DAREarts Blog

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