Indigenous Youth – Changing the Way We Think!

Education

This post was written by Brad Baker and Stephanie Maki. Brad Baker is the District Principal in North Vancouver School District, overseeing the Aboriginal Programs for all students. Stephanie Maki is the Aboriginal Support Teacher at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver.

Power:

Trick or Treaty? and Hi-Ho Mistahey! provide examples of how powerful the voice and actions of Indigenous youth can be, and how they can lead to change. The term “powerful” resonates with a desire to change and to make one’s life more meaningful. The film illustrates the case study of Shannen’s Dream to demonstrate how Indigenous youth can bring about change, in their own communities and in Canada as a whole. Power is empowering!

Hi-Ho Mistahey!, Alanis Obomsawin, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

This film is available for immediate viewing by CAMPUS subscribers. You may already have a subscription to CAMPUS through your school. Go here to find out.

History:

The documentaries highlight the historical knowledge of the Treaty process that Indigenous youth acquired in order to understand the promises that were made by the government to their ancestors. The films show that history was interpreted in two different ways by two different cultural groups, Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal, revealing the power and value of oral history to Canadians of all cultural backgrounds.

Trick or Treaty?, Alanis Obomsawin, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

This film is available for immediate viewing by CAMPUS subscribers. You may already have a subscription to CAMPUS through your school. Go here to find out.

Influence:

The films illustrate that one person or group can indeed be influential. The Indigenous youth in the films compelled local, provincial and federal governments to fulfill long-ignored Treaty obligations and brought these issues to all Canadians, which transformed the issues into a Canadian concern, not just an Indigenous one. The films are also timely as an educational tool to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process and recommendations. All Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, need to be willing to acknowledge and discuss what has happened and what is happening in Indigenous communities.

Pride:

The films are sure to instill a sense of pride in Indigenous youth, who will see that it’s possible to make a positive change in their own wellbeing and that of their people. The recognition of the rich history of the Aboriginal people by today’s Indigenous youth will also lead to a sense of pride in who they are and where they come from, which will inform the ongoing and empowering process of making life in Canada better for all.