Independent magazine offers indigenous youth a new voice
Red Rising Magazine provides unique journalistic platform for young indigenous people
The new Red Rising Magazine has launched to popularity. Told from the indigenous perspective, the print and online magazine offers unique stories untold in mainstream media.
The magazine contributors said they saw a need for stories to be told from their point of view.
"Out of frustrations of how the indigenous group and population is represented in mainstream media so this is kind of a tool and a resource for indigenous youth to collaborate and to have their own stories told in their own fashion and freedom," Charlie Crow said.
"There's a lot of positive momentum," said Lenard Monkman, one of the magazine's founding members and contributors.
The magazine's website is described as "rugged" by its designer, Justin L'arrivee. Big pictures and old news-type font make the opinion pieces, poems and articles stand out.
"I have a pretty strong vision for how I want this represented," he said. "I'm really into graffiti and street art and I like to integrate the indigenous with the urban scene. And that's exactly what Red Rising is — the urban indigenous experience."
The group says anyone can submit a story to be published, and authors do not have to be indigenous.
"A lot of rural Aboriginal population youth are moving more into the urban centres to kind of advance in their education, which is the reasoning why I came, and so kind of wanting to, you know, [say] 'I've been through that process and here are tips and ways to figure your way out,'" she said.
But Lavoie said it is not a story you would find in publication anywhere else.
"It's really not heard of. Nobody really talks about it — maybe some quick word [of] mouth with some friends and stuff. But it was never really in the public avenue. Especially when it's free and you're able to disperse it out, people are really going to be like, 'Yeah, we actually wanted this,'" Lavoie said.
The magazine is already running low on its first 1,000 copies, which have been distributed to places like high schools and universities. A second run may be in the works, but it also requires money.
It has received funding from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Justice Murray Sinclair and The Indigenous Writer's Collective. The website also offers subscriptions for as much as you can afford.
Monkman said the group is taking things one issue at a time, but if things continue to go well, online videos and podcasts may be next.
"This is really our chance to have our own voice and to be able to use that voice as a way of collectively saying there's something different happening in this city," Monkman said.