As SaultOnline reported in a story, Feb.17th, 2016, students from Grassy Narrows First Nations were involved in a music collaboration with N’we Jinan, an innovative project of The Cree Nation Youth Council. The music video has been released for the song ‘Home To Me’, a poignant and powerful example of youth giving rise to their voices.
“Music is a universal language. Music offers young people an opportunity to create music, in a safe environment. Meaning ‘We Live Here, We belong Here’, N’we Jinan is empowering youth in first nation communities to find the voice inside of them, and express that voice through original music and lyrics. In a declaration that we belong here, music is the best way to shape that,” said N’we Jinan’s David Hodges.
N’we Jinan went to Grassy Narrows First Nation in early February 2016. Located in northwestern Ontario, Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation is about 2 1/2 hours north of Kenora, Ontario. The temperatures were very frigid when David Hodges and Josh Iserhoff were there, dipping well below -30 Celcius.
N’we Jinan, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, brings youth together, in a way that allows them to open up about struggles, joys, and stories that resonate with them. “The young people put their heart and soul into these songs,” said David Hodges.
‘The N’we Jinan Tour is a music initiative that brings a mobile recording studio into schools and community centres across First Nation communities in Canada. The tour is a collaborative project commissioned by the Cree Nation Youth Council in Quebec. The program is aimed to create an environment where youth can express themselves musically and creatively under the guidance of a professional music producer. As there is a need for music programs in many First Nation communities, N’we Jinan offers a dynamic approach to music education. Participants learn about recording, music production, song writing, performance, marketing and design. The tour is documented by a professional film team where interviews and live performance sessions are captured, encouraging youth to emerge from their shells and to express themselves.’
The video shares the song, ‘Home to Me’, a remarkable expression of what home means to the young people of Grassy Narrows First Nation, a community in Ontario’s northwest region. The video was shot all around Asubpeechoseewagong First Nation with students from the high school, ranging in ages 14-19 years-old. “Edmond Jack shared traditional drumming & singing for the song. The whole video was shot in about three days,” said Darryl Michaluk, highschool teacher from Asubpeeschoseewagong Education Authority, who’s students were involved with the N’we Jinan collaboration.
Congratulations N’we Jinan and the students from Asubpeechoseewagong First Nation. Shooting a music video in -35 Degrees Celcius couldn’t have been easy. The song, ‘Home to Me’ is a living example of how music can serve as a powerful voice in the wilderness.