On National Aboriginal Day, a group of youths from Vezina High School in Attawapiskat First Nation reclaimed their voice by releasing an original music video. Called Walking for Peace, the work addresses, in clear yet powerful language, the youths’ frustration with the ongoing suicide crisis in their community. While the media coverage has been extensive and many experts have visited, the youth feel as though their concerns haven’t been heard. Through this music, they are speaking directly to their community, as well as all of Canada, about their experiences, feelings and hopes.
DAREarts, a national charity that empowers at-risk youth using the arts, facilitated the production during a two week workshop upon request from the community and officials at Vezina High School, including teacher Mandy Alves. The organization, which has previously worked in Attawapiskat providing song writing and videography workshops, assembled a team of leaders in music, videography and education, and arranged for their transportation and accommodation. During the first week, Juno-nominated musician and artist-educator Glenn Marais led a song-writing and recording workshop. Indigenous artist-educator Cathy Elliott and DAREarts Lead Teacher Shelley MacDonald taught the youths how to direct and edit the video during the following week. MacDonald is also a teacher with The Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts program, an affiliate organization whose support as Education Partner was critical for the project. Financial supporters include: Palgrave Rotary Club, Thunder Air, the Paul Semple Scholarship Fund, Sarah Haney, and Aeroplan donors (notably Hans Koehle, Maria Da Cunha, Cheryl Vhal and Victor Ford).
DAREarts Returns to Attawapiskat – Posts by Artist-Educator Glenn Marais
Read Day One
Read Day Two
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
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 Group, and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.