Video

Grassy Narrows teens find voice through N'we Jinan

A music video made by a group of teens in Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, is racking up tens of thousands of views online.

'We never knew we had that kind of talent inside of us,' says 16-year-old performer from Grassy Narrows

A music video made by a group of teens in Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario is racking up tens of thousands of views online.

The video shows the students performing Home To Me, a song they wrote and recorded themselves with the help of a travelling music studio called N'we Jinan.

The program, run by Montreal-based music producer David Hodges, was created several years ago to encourage youth in First Nations communities to pursue music and the arts. 

When she heard the program was coming to her school in Grassy Narrows, Sharice Bruce, 16, signed up. 

"I was pretty excited to know that we were going to be writing our own song and singing," she said. "We never knew we had that kind of talent inside of us."

The N'we Jinan project is giving young people living on First Nations across the country, the chance to tell their stories through song. And its turning those kids into music video stars. They just wrapped up production in Grassy Narrows. 8:32

The students spent four days working with Hodges on the song about their home community. Since their video was released in March, it has been shared over 20,000 times online, said Hodges, and positive feedback is pouring in from around the world. 

"That's the best kind of encouragement you can get," he said. 

The students have now been invited to sing in Toronto later in May at The River Run, an event organized to raise awareness of long-standing water, and logging issues in Grassy Narrows, said Hodges.

The students are now working on another video to launch their crowdfunding effort to pay for the trip.