Five years ago, as he was looking at the coverage of Indigenous people in the media, Jordan Molaro had an epiphany.

“Our stories aren’t really being told in the media; our own original stories,” says Molaro.

That epiphany turned into Nu-Media, his video production company, from which he started a program to help Indigenous youth. Twice a year the Nu-Media program invites 20 young people — ranging in age from 18 to 30 — and collecting welfare to be part of a three-month project in Winnipeg. The program teaches them not only how to tell their stories, but also gives them training for a career in media production.

The company also collaborates with First Nations youth who feel their voices aren’t being heard by conducting one-week programs in different communities.

Through Nu-Media On Tour, Molaro and his crew help those young people produce a broadcast quality film on any subject they choose — everything from suicide and depression to vampires.

“What has been happening is that everyone just comes to [the youths], takes their information and then leaves the community,” says Molaro, who identifies as Métis and Ojibway. He is from Winnipeg, and his family is from the Skownan First Nation in Manitoba.

Instead, Nu-Media leaves behind a legacy of skills so young people can continue telling their stories.

Creating their own productions allows for young people to emphasize, “that love lives within these communities,” says Molaro.

He acknowledges that students can’t possibly learn everything needed to know about making a movie in just three months, but that’s not the point of these programs.

“They teach the students confidence to tell their own stories,” says Molaro. “But they also teach them the strength to fail.”

“Our culture is in the language ... and we are losing that and that means we are losing what it means to be Canadian.”

So what does being Indigenous mean to him, personally?

“What it means to me ... is just that we are the original keepers of this land,” he says. “And it is to live a life in balance and in harmony with one another, and to walk and speak our truth.”

Looking forward to July 1, and the celebrations around Canada 150, Molaro says he’s looking ahead.

“I think it’s great that we made it this far, but where do go now, what is the next step?”

He would like to see more education to help inform more Canadians about Indigenous people and their traditions.

To start, Molaro would like to see recognition of the fact there are more than two official languages in Canada.

“Our culture is in the language ... and we are losing that and that means we are losing what it means to be Canadian,” says Molaro.

“I always say to anyone who comes to our country, if you lose your culture and your language, you could at least go back to Poland or to Italy or to wherever you’re from and you can regain that.

“But where do we go?”

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