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Indigenous First Roots Program

Webequie FN traditional teacher Bill Jacob said, “Our youth need to learn how to turn to traditional and other positive support systems like DAREarts to take care of themselves during times of stress.” DAREarts empowers Indigenous youth to combat life challenges as leaders, including staying in school.

DAREarts Indigenous First Roots Program started in Webequie FN in 2007. Now, the program has taken root in Webequie FN, Marten Falls FN, Attawapiskat FN, Mississaugas of the New Credit FN, Neskantaga FN, Sipekne’katik FN in Nova Scotia, and Tuktoyaktuk in NWT.

In 2017, 150 youths in Attawapiskat FN, Marten Falls FN, Neskantaga FN, and Webequie FN dared to creatively retell their community's traditional bear tales in the DAREarts-Stratford Spirit Bear project. After working with the DAREarts team in their communities thanks to ON150, six of the youths flew to the Stratford Festival to see The Breathing Hole, display their murals, and share their experience in a Festival Forum. Read more here.

Letter from AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. We are proud of the DAREarts kids and we are honoured by this recognition.

Globe & Mail: Stratford Festival and DAREarts mark Canada 150
Stratford Beacon Herald: PM Trudeau meets with DAREarts Indigenous youths
Stratford Beacon Herald: DAREarts Indigenous youth workshop with cast of The Breathing Hole
Stratford Beacon Herald: Spirit Bear youth display talent at Festival Forum
CBC News: Attawapiskat youth find common voice in art
Huffington Post Blog: Attawapiskat Youth Show Canada Their Strength
CBC Interview: DAREarts Indigenous Youth Connect Hockey and the Arts

Youths' Videos, Songs and Stories:

Webequie FN:
"Mashkwe Seewin Maa Moe (Stronger Together)" - song & lyrics
"We Are One" - music video
"Spirit of the North" - music video
"Spirit of the North" - song lyrics
"Don't Stop" - music video
"Agidamo and Jenna" - short drama video
"Fill My Hollow Bones"
- full documentary video

Marten Falls FN:
"Makwa Obwoo Momun (Bear Berries)" - song & lyrics
"The Land Speaks" - spoken word and video
"Swimming in a Fast Current" - song and video

Sioux Lookout:
"Zero to Hero" - short drama

Attawapiskat FN:
"Muskego Land" - song and video
"Walking for Peace" - song and video

Sipekn'ekatik FN, Nova Scotia:
"4Directions, 1Circle" - spoken word and puppetry
"Melkikno'ti (Courage)"
- song and video

New Credit FN:
"Four Legends" - short drama video

Tuktoyaktuk, NT:
"Nation's Creations" - soundscape video



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DAREarts helped me see myself proud, see myself strong.