December 21, 2022

Wow!! What a trip around the sun! We are grateful for another amazing year with this wonderful, engaged, supportive community!! As 2022 comes to a close, we want to take a moment to celebrate the extraordinary work our team has delivered over the last year – it’s time for VIDEA WRAPPED 

Thank you to YOU – community, newsletter readers, friends and donors! Your support, in all its many forms, means the world to us 💖

We are so proud of the VIDEA team and the work we have done this year!

 It has been another busy and exciting year!! We have been grateful for more opportunities to gather in person and we continue to connect in virtual spaces that are more accessible, meaningful and FUN than ever. We are strong because of the kind, smart, committed and creative folks who make up our team and bring their experience, knowledge and beautiful personalities to all of our programs 🌈

We are excited to share this update with you and hope that you will consider making a donation in support of this work. 

In 2022, you supported 16 PROGRAMS

Global Community Storytelling remains a super special and welcoming weekly space for the VIDEA community – we look forward to Monday evenings because of it!! Storytellers continue to generously share beautiful, powerful, funny, thoughtful, interesting and creative stories, art and songs. We had many special edition Storytelling nights throughout 2022 to highlight, celebrate and commemorate. We are grateful for all of those who have shared – this space would be nothing with you! 💛

We spent 47 Monday nights together in 2022.

Over 2,200 youth from Zambia, Uganda and Turtle Island joined our International Youth Conference.

We are still buzzing from our second virtual youth conference – it was so special!! Elders, Knowledge Keepers, community leaders, experts and artists came together to talk sexual and reproductive health rights, mental health, climate justice and Indigeneity. Wonderful folks from the VIDEA team emceed the event (!!), hosted sessions on disability and climate justice, eco-guilt, decolonizing climate anger, global wellness and a creative wellness break! This conference brought expert knowledge, lived experience, powerful speakers and performances to classrooms across Zambia and Uganda where this information, specifically about sexual, reproductive and mental health, is not readily accessible to students.

There were 48 Indigenous Wellness Wednesdays and 1 very special virtual Wellness Retreat!! Every Wednesday youth gather virtually to share a meal, check in and participate in an Indigenous-focused wellness session – from powwow bootcamp to tarot readings, the group has had soooo many amazing wellness facilitators, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Indigenous Wellness Wednesday works to support Indigenous youth to define their own wellness journey and goals. Through this project, participating youth have access to one-on-one traditional wellness sessions with Elders. Sessions fill up quickly, with up to 35 youth joining each week (!!) and the Wellness facebook community has over 160 members!! 

We were able to host 4 in-person trainings this year!

The Shared Wisdom: Up North team (above) met up in Victoria and Yellowknife to explore gender policy transformation, queer healing and community engagement. The Climate Justice Team (below) took to T’Sou-ke First Nation and Lil’Wat First Nation where they learned from each other, community members and the land.

We really treasure these opportunities to work and gather in person!!

All four Canada Corps projects are in full swing!!

The Kiwetin Youth Project continued to meet regularly to work on the recording of their song and music video. The group was invited to the Métis Nation of Alberta’s Region 6’s Annual General Meeting in Northern Alberta to showcase their music and visual art. It was an amazing weekend and the Métis Nation was really impressed with the work of the youth and excited at the ways the project can grow and continue.

The IDEE Project, based in Edmonton, Alberta, is coordinated by three youth and made up of BIPOC youth ages of 15-19. They had an incredible retreat in October and are now working on a documentary that is being edited and leading to a film premiere in March. The youth and coordinators are all excited for the film and the premiere!

The Nelson Mural Project is made up of 30 diverse youth who are working on land-based art through Indigenous ways of knowing and being. They will soon begin a collaborative art mural that will proudly reflect on a large wall at the Nelson high school.

From the Heart: To the Roots now has 56 youth participants engaging with land-based teachings through the seasons. They had an exciting retreat in October where youth collaborated on a mix of dance, music, visual art, theatre and film. They are continuing to meet in smaller community groups with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and mentors and creating a final documentary that will be screened in March.

We (very recently) wrapped up 5 years of Global Affairs Canada-funded International Indigenous Youth Internship programming!! 42 amaaaazing Indigenous youth completed their internships in two virtual cohorts! We are so impressed by the IAYI team and our partner organizations for making the virtual adaptation of this program so meaningful and impactful. They prioritized innovation and inclusion – from virtual village and market tours in Zambia, to knowledge exchanges with Ugandan youth! We are so proud of each and every intern, from all cohorts, who showed up fully and ready to participate 💖 

And soooo many more incredible youth-led projects!! 

Creative Spaces of Resiliency is a weekly space for Indigenous youth artists to gather, create and heal. They have spent the last two weeks making beaded keychains!!

Safety in Sex Work: Protecting Our Spirit is a group of 7 Indigenous youth working to educate Indigenous youth on engaging in sex work in safe ways and about alternative options. They are creating spaces where education can be shared and voices of marginalized peoples are uplifted.

From Our Territories storytelling project headed to Squamish and Lil’wat territory to do some interviews and Land focused filming!

Rise Up! Indigenous youth leaders are continuing their anti-racism learning and using what they learn to engage their communities.

Bonds of Solidarity is a Black youth-led project working to confront and address systemic racism and barriers. They recently hosted a special Storytelling with over 40 listeners!!

VIDEA team members attended 5 United Nations conferences in 2022!

Skw’awk’as Dunstan and Sekwanahcahk Anderson attended COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Skw’awk’as also attended COP15 in Montréal; the official launch of the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France; and the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya in her capacity as a member of the Youth Advisory Group with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Kate Herchak attended UNESCO’s World Higher Education Conference in Barcelona, Spain where she spoke about Indigenous perspectives in higher education.

We are so proud of these Indigenous youth leaders for their strength, bravery and commitment to ensuring Indigenous voices, knowledge and rights are included in these spaces. 💖🌍

Thank you for reading about our work this year, if you would like to make a donation in support of our work, you can do so here!