Nova Scotia

App project to help Indigenous youth record and share their stories

A program called Mi'kmaw Radio Rookies will use an app to help youth in two Nova Scotia Indigenous communities record and tell their stories this summer.

StoryCorps program running in Eskasoni and Paq'tnkek

The Mi'kmaw Radio Rookies program will teach Indigenous young people recording and interviewing skills. (Richard Perry)

A program called Mi'kmaw Radio Rookies will use an app to help Indigenous youth in Nova Scotia tell stories about their communities this summer.

The app, called StoryCorps, will be used by 15- to 19-year-olds in Paq'tnkek, near Antigonish, and Eskasoni, Cape Breton, to create their own audio stories.

The app allows a user to easily record interviews on their phone and share it to the StoryCorps website. 

U.S. Library of Congress

Each recording shared to the website is automatically archived to the American Folklife Center at the U.S. Library of Congress.  

Richard Perry of Antigonish created the program and thinks it's a unique way for Indigenous youth to tell their stories.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with Mi'kmaq youth here in Nova Scotia and to help them tell stories important to them," he said.

During the workshop, the young people will learn about various audio and interview techniques and how to record good sound, Perry says.

Carter Chiasson, the music and tech teacher at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, is helping co-ordinate the program there. 

Cultural preservation

He says the program will give young people the opportunity to help maintain their Aboriginal culture. 

"There`s this big push in the community to help preserve culture. We're really hoping ... that this project will instill in them the importance of that," he said.

Chiasson says 15 people have already indicated an interest in the program. 

Paq'tnkek starts its workshop this weekend; Eskasoni's will begin in August. 

The program is funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.