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Canada: Indigenous Teens Share their Values on Video Contest

Categories: North America, Canada, Arts & Culture, Ethnicity & Race, Indigenous, Youth

[1]Indigenous teens in four different Canadian communities share their hopes, stories and dreams in a series of short videos in “My Space. My Story” where they speak about things that matter to them as indigenous youth. The workshop was organized by the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, a yearly international festival in Toronto, Canada where Indigenous people show the different artistic ways they create art reflecting the diversity of Indigenous nations in the world.

One of the ten teens will win an opportunity to travel to and have their short screened at the imagineNATIVE festival. The winner will be selected by online votes on the website [2] before May 1st.

Keelan Keeshig of Cape Croker is a senior in the Parry Sound High School and in his video [3] he shares  how he dealt with bullying growing up:  in his case, it was due to his long hair, a mark of his traditional culture which he didn't know how to explain to his short-haired peers.

Laura Gagnon [4] is  Ojibway and her bright future seemed to be full of promise, but bad choices led her to drug addiction and alcoholism. It was through rediscovering her spiritual and cultural roots that she was able to come clean and now she is back in high school, and hopes to go on to college and become an addictions counselor to help others.

Sequin D. Williams of Fort Albany First Nation explains [5] how when he goes hunting for geese with his father he is repeating a pattern: his father was taught to hunt by his father in turn, so for Sequin, hunting is how he connects to his ancestors and indigenous tradition.

You can see the other 7 videos on the imagineNATIVE site, and vote for your favorite one [2]: the winner will have the chance to show his short film to other artists and actors in the Indigenous art community at the Toronto Film And Media Arts festival [6].