While in Yellowknife last month for the Northwest Territories Teachers Association Educator's Conference last month (you can read more about that experience from my blog post here), I shared a cab to the conference one early morning with Kelvin, one of the founders of the We Matter campaign. It didn't take long for us to figure out how similar some of our work is working with Indigenous youth for positive, empowered social change, and he was kind enough to give me a USB packed with educational resources for workshop facilitators and teachers across Canada. We at Hands On Media are so pumped to learn more about the project, that we thought we'd highlight their work in this week's post. We hope you enjoy, and are able to share the project and the message with your community that indeed, we all DO matter.

--Jessie

We Matter is an Indigenous-led non-profit organization that is committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion. It was started in 2016 by Tunchai and Kelvin Redvers, a sister and brother who wanted to respond to the overwhelming number of suicides and other issues faced by Indigenous youth. 

 Artwork by a student at St. Nicholas Junior High, Edmonton, Alberta

Artwork by a student at St. Nicholas Junior High, Edmonton, Alberta

The centre of their work is the We Matter Campaign - a multi-media project featuring short videos, written work, and artistic creations from Indigenous role models and allies all across Canada, sharing their own experiences of overcoming hardships, and communicating messages of hope, resilience and positivity to Indigenous youth. 

Most importantly, the campaign seeks to communicate to Indigenous youth that they matter. 

"By sharing our stories, our words of encouragement, and our authentic messages of hope and resilience, we help to make a community and nation stronger. We remind youth that I Matter. You Matter. We Matter. We prove that we are all #StrongerTogether."

In addition to an extensive archive of deeply inspiring and moving video messages from role models across the country, young people are encouraged to upload their own videos, written works or artistic messages of hope.   

We Matter provides lesson plans for educators, as well as resources for youth, teachers, support workers, parents and community members on how to use the We Matter Campaign to help those who may be struggling in their own families, schools and communities. 

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 Artwork by a student at St. Nicholas Junior High, Edmonton, Alberta

Artwork by a student at St. Nicholas Junior High, Edmonton, Alberta

At Hands on Media we've also seen how powerful it can be for young people to share their own experiences with others through the creation of digital stories and other media. If you're interested in learning more about our Digital Storytelling Workshops, please don't hesitate to get in touch!