It is our great honour and pleasure to introduce the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth participants -- whose participation is generously supported in part by the British Council office in Canada -- coming to The Art of Changing the World (ACW) 2017 in Ottawa: all amazing changemakers involved in important community-engaged arts work in their communities.
The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Their global work in the Arts aims to find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through creativity. Art for social change is one of the British Council’s key pillars, which is showcased through the extension of safe spaces for culture as it builds trust and dialogue to support multiple expressions of cultural identities.
For more information on the British Council’s arts program across Canada, click here.
Rachel Seepola Michael, Iqaluit, NunavutEmbrace Life Council, as well as part-time youth leader at the Makukktukuvik Youth Center. My professional and personal efforts are to help bring equality to youth in care. As well as, breaking the silence and stigma around mental health issues and suicide by advocating for myself and other youth in my community. Taima.
Brianna Shae, Fort Smith, North West Territories
Brianna knew from a young age that she was immensely passionate about benefitting society, connecting with her roots, and empowering herself and others. Brianna's work with helping others comes from an early lesson that she was taught at a young age, "We rise by lifting others first" This teaching has shaped her to be who she is today. Brianna works around Victims Services providing resources to those in need. Brianna works in Foxy which brings sexual health knowledge and self empowerment to youth in the north. Lastly, Brianna works with the NWT Métis Nation, helping keep the indigenous traditions and cultures thriving. Brianna is certain that she is starting on the right path to her future.
Nelson Tagoona, Baker Lake, Nunavut
Nelson Tagoona is an innovative hip-hop artist and ‘throat-boxer’ who combines Inuit throat-singing with beat-boxing techniques. He lives in Baker Lake Nunavut. Nelson has led many workshops and community/school performances for young people, always with the aim to provide a positive, safe forum where young people can express themselves, talk about their struggles, and hear how others have overcome similar issues. He’s in the process of founding his own company which will develop hip-hop based arts programming for schools.