This winter, Wapikoni stopped over in two communities: Wemotaci and Kitcisakik. Just like with the Atikamekw and the Anishnabe, the welcome was warm and projects quickly emerged and took shape in the studios.
In Wemotaci, from January 27 to February 21, the Wapikoni team, made up of Alexandra Guité, Stéphane Moukarzel (mentors), Juan Sebastian Larobina (youth counselor), Steven Chilton (coordinator) and Canouk Newashish (assistant mentor) took in 41 participants whose short films were screened on February 20 for community members and Chief David Boivin.
Several participants from Wapikoni’s first stopover in 2004 participated in this workshop. Steven Chilton directed a film about his odyssey to escape addiction to speed. Brian Bryan Coocoo took part in filming a documentary about the food aid program in the community (as well as junk food), and Canouk Newashish, as only he would, put on a comedy film. To highlight 10 years of Wapikoni in Wemotaci, Gloria Coocoo directed a retrospective film.
The screening in Wemotaci had special significance this year, Wapikoni’s 10th anniversary, because this is the community where the organization was born that owes its name to Wapikoni Awashish, the radiant inspiration of the project, killed 20 years ago in a car accident, originally from Wemotaci and a close collaborator with Manon Barbeau. This place is therefore charged with emotion for Manon Barbeau, who came to attend the short film screening and to kick off a commemorative tour in the communities where the studios stopped over during the first year.
Then, the training workshops continued in Kitcisakik. Despite the very harsh winter conditions in this community with no running water or electricity, participants managed to complete some very nice projects… between gathering firewood and fetching water! From March 2 to 27, the team made up of François Laurent and Maxime Lapointe (mentors), Véronique Lanoix (youth counselor), Victor Penosway (local coordinator) and Kevin Papatie (assistant mentor) got used to the rhythm of life in Kitcisakik and nurtured the young people’s projects. The subjects this year are still varied, dealing with the theme of trapping as well as boarding school. Seventeen young people took part in the workshops and screening of the short films took place on March 26.