In an effort to support youth resilience by developing musical talents and skills, a music and video project between youth, police and others from Onion Lake.
Titled, Young & Happy, the music video aims to encourage healthy coping strategies among youth. The song and video, which was just released online, was written by a group of Onion Lake high school students who completed a workshop with N’We Jinan, a non-profit mobile recording studio.
N’We Jinan is a music initiative that brings a recording studio and video production team into schools and youth centres in First Nation communities to offer youth an opportunity to create an original song as an outlet to explore issues and topics alongside promoting positive messaging.
The project was delivered in partnership with Ekweskeet Healing Lodge and funded by the RCMP Foundation and Wicihitowin Foundation.
The song "shares stories of courage, strength and hope with healthy coping strategies addressing issues identified by the youth,” Onion Lake RCMP Community Program Officer Laili Yazdani said.
The video is one component of a music project created by Yazdani, who works with the community to support crime prevention programming.
The project was launched this summer, and involved traditional drum-making and auditions, with production wrapping up last month.
Jaeli Bruno is featured in the video and said it makes them feel as though they belong.
"With the people I’m surrounded with and the music, it felt like finally, people will recognize we are talented. I just absolutely felt like myself and completely free," Bruno said.
Cinarah Wolfe said she was scared and insecure but the video helped her overcome much of this.
"Life is a mystery and sometimes you gotta take chances to find out who you really are," she said. "Now I can dream without being scared to become them.”
The youth debuted their first live performance of the song in Onion Lake for National Addictions Awareness Week and plan to attend N’We Jinan’s Annual Youth Festival at the Canadian Human Rights Museum in April 2019.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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