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A Dream Comes True: Wapikoni Across Canada

Wapikoni from Coast to Coast:
Reconciliation through Media Arts

In 2017-2018, Wapikoni will undertake a unique and nation-wide project based on Reconciliation, aiming to empower and to give a voice to Indigenous youth, while sharing their stories with Canadians of all origins. This initiative also seeks to celebrate Indigenous cultures and creativity and to reinforce a sense belonging in society.

To achieve this, Wapikoni can count on the precious support and collaboration of more than 50 partners including many Indigenous communities, regional partners, and major partners, ensuring maximum scope and impact of the project. As a First Nations organization, this project will also be Wapikoni’s first collaboration with Metis and Inuit communities.

This is a two-fold project:


AN AUDIOVISUAL CREATION WORKSHOP TOUR IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES OF CANADA

For the first time, Wapikoni will undertake a nation-wide audiovisual and music workshop tour, in the goal of reaching out and giving a voice to more Indigenous youth across Canada. With new partnerships and a new mobile studio, Wapikoni will set up 16 audiovisual workshops and 4 musical workshops, in 20 Indigenous communities in 8 provinces.

Lasting a month, each workshop will deeply engage 30 participating youth, as well as two filmmaker-mentor, a youth outreach worker (social worker) and a local coordinator. Participants will be encouraged to explore different approaches, work in team and work with members of their community. At the end of each workshop, a community screening is organized allowing the youth to present their films to friends, family members, teachers and council members.

These workshops will also be an important opportunity for Indigenous youth from the East to meet and share experiences with their peers from the West.

A NATION-WIDE MOBILE SCREENING TOUR OF SHORT FILMS BY INDIGENOUS YOUTH

Wapikoni will also launch a nation-wide film screening tour, “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels”, setting up screenings of short films previously directed by Indigenous youth during the workshops in 100 Indigenous communities and 50 cities across the country. This new initiative is sort of the continuity of the workshops and will allow participants to share their voices, build bridges and reach out to a wider audience. These screenings will also create links between different Indigenous nations and communities, as well as help share experiences and raise awareness to non-Indigenous audiences. Using a mobile screening vehicle, the tour will be organised with the collaboration of ImagineNATIVE – the most important Indigenous media arts organisation in Canada, and with a dozen organizations across the country.

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

Essential to the project and at the core of the workshops and screening tours are the participating Indigenous communities.

In addition to our contacts and network, a Call for participation was sent to all First Nations of Canada through the Assembly of First Nations in 2016, prior to the project’s confirmation, to scout potential interest. As response, communities from all across Canada sent letters of interest and invitation to Wapikoni to receive a month’s creation workshop in their community.

Partnerships with the communities are essential to ensure the project is solidly set up in each community, provide follow-up with the participants throughout the year, and to maximize the long-term positive effects. Wapikoni can count on the support of local organizations (Band councils, youth centres, health and social services, etc.). Here are the partnering communities for the audiovisual workshop tour. Note that this list does not including the additional 80 partnering Indigenous communities for the screening tour.

COMMUNITY

NATION

PROVINCE

TERRITORY

  1. Splatsin First Nation

  2. Urban Indigenous community of Vancouver

Splatsin

Several Nations

BC

  1. Stoney

Sioux

AB

  1. Pelican Narrows Cree Nation

  2. La Loche (Clearwater River)

Cri

Déné et Métis

SK

  1. Pine Creek First Nation

Saulteaux

MB

  1. Wikwemikong First Nation

  2. Fort William (tbc)*

Odawa, Ojibwe

ON

  1. Eskasoni First Nation

Mi’kmaq

NS

  1. Tobique First Nation

Maliseet

NB

  1. Kuujjuaq

  2. Kawawachikamach

  3. Eastmain

  4. Manawan

  5. Uashat mak Mani-Utenam

  6. Kitigan Zibi

Inuit

Naskapi

Cri

Atikamekw

Innu

Anishinabe

Nunavik

 

QC

 

 

 

 

ABOUT WAPIKONI

For over 12 years, Wapikoni Mobile has been travelling to remote Indigenous communities, mainly in Quebec and Latin America, offering support, empowering activities and providing platforms of expression for Indigenous youth. With its unique studios on wheels and state-of-the-art equipment, Wapikoni’s audiovisual and musical workshops offer participants resources and mentorship that are seldom available or accessible in their communities. Since 2004, over 4,000 Indigenous youth from 30 communities and 10 nations have participated in the creative process of 950 short films.

Beyond creation and intervention, Wapikoni’s mandate is also about building bridges, fighting racism and prejudice against Indigenous peoples. Wapikoni thus helps participants present and screen their works in over 200 public events in Canada and all over the world, raising awareness about contemporary issues and Indigenous rights. These activities contribute to break the isolation and the barriers that often exist between cultures, with mobilizing and positive effects and by celebrating Indigenous creativity and cultures. Since 2004, a new generation of Indigenous youth and artists has emerged, taking pride in sharing their views, cultures, and languages with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous publics.

With the financial support of the government of Canada and the Canada 150 Fund, Wapikoni mobile will undertake a nation-wide project in 2017, based on Reconciliation, in a hope to reach out to Indigenous youth all across Canada, and to build positive bridges between Indigenous peoples and Canadians of all origins.

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