We Matter: bringing hope to Indigenous youth
Lack of clean water. Lack of housing. Lack of educational and job opportunities. Families facing addiction and abuse. These are just of the many struggles facing Canada's Indigenous peoples. Perhaps the most troubling news of all involves the heartbreaking toll of suicide; stories of young people whose circumstances have challenged their will to live.
Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers are a brother and sister team who are doing something about this. They created the We Matter campaign to help sow seeds of hope and connection among Indigenous youth.
No matter what you're going through...there's always a way forward. It's hard to see that sometimes, but there are others who have been through what you've been through, and there are always people who want to support you. And WE want to support you.- Kelvin Redvers, co-founder, We Matter campaign
Kelvin and Tunchai grew up in Hay River, Northwest Territories. We Matter is a multimedia project that gathers messages of support from all over the country and delivers them to Indigenous youth, wherever they may be.
We Matter is inspired by the 'It Gets Better' campaign which has offered support to LGBTQ youth who face bullying or discrimination and who may be struggling to carry on.
Kelvin and Tunchai began working on We Matter about a year ago. They launched the site officially last October. Since then they've visited Indigenous communities across the country, conducting workshops with young people and collecting their messages of hope. They have even delivered USB sticks full of We Matter videos to youth in communities with unreliable internet access.
And wherever they go, their message to Indigenous youth is: Don't give up; you are loved. Tunchai Redvers often shares this advice with the young people she encounters:
"Write down five things that you love; five things that bring you joy; five people in your life that you love very much. Write those down. And remember that, because there are so many people out there to support you and who love you."
Visit the We Matter site to see more inspiring messages by and for Indigenous youth.