District Aboriginal Student Leadership Council Creates Utopia

Posted On Tuesday June 21, 2022

Members of the District Aboriginal Student Leadership Council have created their own utopia just in time for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The group of ten students recently wrote, recorded, and produced their own music video through Mobile Production Studio’s N’we Jinan, an organization that develops, implements, and executes artistic and educational programming in First Nations communities and schools.

N’we Jinan music producer Milan Andre Boronell recently told CBC Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce about the process: “it’s honestly mind-blowingly incredible. With every experience, I try to not micromanage or plan too much ahead and the spontaneity and energy and connection of every community and group of youth inspires the process, fostering a trusting energy that allows people to open themselves up.”

The entire intensive creative process takes four days to complete and involved nine Aboriginal students from Chase Secondary, SKSS, Norkam, Brock Middle, @KOOL, and Sa-Hali Secondary.

 The creation and writing of the song is completed on day one, the song is recorded on day two, and the video production rounds out the third and fourth days.

“It’s a lot different than you’d think,” said Marilyn Lysons, grade 8 Brock Middle School student and participant in the project. “You’d think it would be really easy and at times, it is, but when you’re listening to the background music and trying to write down your lyrics, it can be quite challenging because nobody knows what way they want to do.”

Lysons’ cousin also helped create a previous N’we Jinan video, which inspired her to want to take part in the unique opportunity as well.

Contributor Zayn Haskil, grade 8 @KOOL student, discussed overcoming his fears while participating in the creation: “Before this, I never had a lot of courage. I couldn’t sing in front of people for the life of me but this experience has helped with that.”

Sharing credits on the song with Lysons and Haskil are students Ayla Stad, Akita Abraham, Caitlyn Campbell, Mikey Friesen, Hazel Jack-James, Keila Paul, and Rain Dunstan.

“Vulnerability, love, and supportive energy – that’s really the ingredients to all of these projects,” said Boronell.

“This is excellent evidence of the importance of the fine arts in enabling students to communicate how they are and who they are becoming and yet another example of student voice leading the way in SD73,” said Rhonda Nixon, Superintendent of Schools.

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