“When I grow up I wanna make a change cause everything now is kinda looking strange, I wanna stand up for what I believe in, thinking about the world and those that are grieving”.
These are the lyrics from the youths of Peawanuck First Nations an isolated Cree community in the Kenora District, Ontario, Canada. It is located near the confluence of the Winisk and Shamattawa rivers, about 35 km from the Winisk River’s end in Hudson Bay. Its population is 237.
In this very remote community, Nigel Pahl aka Mic North the founder of “Maps” Motivational Arts Program, a multimedia program for youth across Canada, shared the sounds of joy and innocence of the Peawanuck youths with the rest of Canada through music.
“Music is an international language and Hip Hop is about inclusion and transcends cultures,” said Mic North. He speaks passionately about empowering Indigenous youths and giving them a platform to positively express themselves through music and video.
His goal is to help Indigenous youth self-identify by creating their own media with the help of the top professionals in the music industry within Canada and internationally. Mic North reached out to Canada’s own super-producer Jason Russel AKA Rup Monster and Skyler Roulette an acclaimed Indigenous director from Germany.
“I feel honoured to share my knowledge with so many amazing kids and to see the smiles on their faces after we’ve completed a workshop is not only gratifying, it’s humbling,” said Jason Russel who is also an accomplished artist and drummer.
“When you are given the opportunity to help make the world a more positive place doing something you love, you do it,” said Skyler Roulette who has traveled the world directing and producing various projects.
Creating something special that will last forever is what Maps are doing for these kids living on the various first nations across Canada. The Maps Workshops are not only teaching the youths new skills they are shattering the stereotypes often depicted of Indigenous peoples living on reservations.
Maps Workshop will continue to travel across Canada teaching the youths the importance of sharing their positive message and empowering the voice of a generation that is poised to influence the world.
More information about MAPs Workshop can be found on their website page.