For the second year in a row, students from across the Blood reserve gathered in Standoff, Alta. for the Kainai Youth Arts and Media Summit.
Over the course of the week, youths got to learn about a wide range of professions in arts and media.
“For the kids, it’s an opportunity to work together to learn skills from communication to technical skills across the arts and really be inspired by people who are passionate about what they do,” coordinator Kamala Parel-Nuttall said.
The four-day summit is put on by the Kainaiwa Children’s Services Corporation to expand young minds about their future and in hopes of steering youths away from drugs and alcohol.
“Our community is just right there. They see it, they know what goes on everyday in their homes,” said Michelle White Man Left from Kainaiwa Children’s Services Corporation. “Lets provide a safe environment where they can really blossom with their education and learn a lot.”
Marshall Vielle spearheaded the theatre group’s workshop where they tackled difficult issues in their community, like safe drinking water, drugs and missing and murdered aboriginal women.
“Kids as young as Grade 7 are wanting to talk about these things,” Vielle said. “I think it shows that they are aware of a lot of the social issues that are facing First Nations people today, which I thought was amazing because they are so young yet so knowledgeable.”
Organizers said it was inspiring to see the passion coming from the youths.
“You give them an opportunity to get their feet wet and then they will take those skills and use them outside of this workshop,” Parel-Nuttall said. “Basically, the idea here is that we are creating the artists of the future.”