In the face of suicide crisis, Attawapiskat youth find common voice in art
With DAREarts, youth in Attawapiskat were able to give voice to their anguish in a 5-minute music video
In the wake of an ongoing suicide crisis in their community, students from Vezina Secondary School in Attawapiskat, Ont., have released an original music video called Walking for Peace.
It gives the students a platform to speak about their experiences, feelings and hopes.
DAREarts, a national charity that empowers at-risk youth with the arts, facilitated the production during a two-week workshop.
"I just believe so much in the capability of our youth," Field said.
"So very often they are just not given the chances to be who they really can be. I'm always impressed with the power of the arts themselves. . . To just help the kids find that empowerment deep inside themselves."
Eighteen-year-old Roberta Iahtail was one of several students who worked on the project.
"I really enjoyed it very well because of the lyrics," she said.
"It says, 'We're walking for peace, we're looking for hope. We're looking for quality and peace around here. But it's still home.'"
Artist-educators Glenn Marais, Cathy Elliott and Shelley MacDonald blogged about the project in Attawapiskat. Read it here.
The music video was first presented to the community during a community celebration and feast last Friday.
With files from Wendy Bird. Packaged by Casey Stranges.