Quebec helps young Aboriginal people find their voice

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MONTREAL – In order to enable young Aboriginal people to develop their creativity, their artistic talent and their social conscience, the Government of Quebec is announcing that Wapikoni mobile will receive $600,000 in new funding to assist the organization in fulfilling its mandate.

“Because Wapikoni mobile considers it a matter of honour to break the isolation of young Aboriginal people inQuebec, to stimulate their creative spirit and to encourage them to become involved in society, the Government of Quebec considers Wapikoni mobile an important partner, particularly in the context of the implementation of the new Youth Action Strategy, which will soon be announced.  Wapikoni clearly contributes to developing young people’s awareness of and promoting their involvement in their culture, their community and society. It is essential for Wapikoni to be able to build on its impressive track record in the coming years, and the financial support announced today will help make that happen,” stated the MNA for Richmond and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for youth issues, Karine Vallières.

Projects to be supported
The funding announced today will provide young Aboriginal people with hands-on learning opportunities in their own communities, in the form of practical workshops, training activities and audiovisual creations. The specialized teams from Wapikoni, which include two individuals who train aspiring filmmakers, one youth worker and one Aboriginal coordinator, will supervise the projects.  One of their most important roles will be to encourage young people to stay in school. Thanks to the new funding Wapikoni will receive, young Aboriginal people will be able to enter the 3, 2, 1, passion! competition, producing short films in which they describe their passions, which distract them from the allure of alcohol, drugs, and gambling.

“It is moving and inspiring to see the great talent of the young Aboriginal people of Quebec, and particularly, the amazing things they are able to do with the help of Wapikoni mobile. When they are given the means to express themselves and to set their imaginations in motion, they will produce masterpieces – unique showcases for their communities and for their nations, which will contribute to enriching the culture of Quebec as a whole. In addition, Wapikoni continues to inspire young artists long after it intervenes; its impact on the communities with which it works is lasting and significant. On behalf of the Government of Quebec, I am proud to assure Wapikoni mobile that we will continue to be their ally, and that we share their goal of developing a young Aboriginal population which is thriving and which is involved in the future of the communities to which they belong,” added the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley.

Community work

“I am pleased that our government has chosen to support such significant and wide-ranging community work. Wapikoni mobile enables Aboriginal people to develop artistic, social and occupational skills by experimenting with various digital tools, and to produce audiovisual and musical creations which will promote a greater awareness among the general public of the unique reality of young people from Aboriginal communities.

Over the years, this organization has been able to diversify its range of services, whether through workshops presented in educational institutions or through training initiatives. This human and creative experience has positive impacts on many aspects of the lives of young Aboriginal people, and provides them with an additional source of motivation, which fosters better self-esteem and dissuades students from dropping out of school,” noted the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport and Minister of Families, Sébastien Proulx.

Financial assistance

The financial assistance announced today is allocated as follows: the Secrétariat à la jeunesse will disburse$180,000 over three years under the auspices of the 2016-2021 Youth Action Strategy, in addition to providing a contribution of $90,000 for workshops in Cree and Inuit communities in 2016-2017; the Ministry of Education and Higher Education will award $300,000 for skills development and for programs dissuading students from dropping out of school; and the Ministry of Health and Social Services will disburse an amount of $31,450. These amounts will add to the financial assistance already announced by the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones in 2012, which awarded a total of $450,000 to Wapikoni mobile over a five-year period.

“This support is valuable to Wapikoni, since it enables us to consolidate our activities, to broaden the territory served and to contribute to cultural assertion and to young Aboriginal people’s pride in their identity. Over the years, young people from First Nations have collaborated in making over 900 short films and 500 musical pieces: so many different ways to be heard and to become visible through creative activity. These works, appreciated around the globe, are also an exceptional contribution to the cultural heritage of the First Nations and of humanity. The support provided to us by the Government of Quebec will assist us in pursuing the important work of building the awareness of different audiences through the broadcasting of these films, each of which is another bridge toward other people”, Manon Barbeau, founder and Executive Director of Wapikoni mobile, stated with great enthusiasm. – CNE Telbec

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