Youth from Waterhen participated in an educational multimedia gathering in Toronto last week are now passing along the knowledge they gained to their community.
Raielle Martell and Kahlil Mistickokat visited the Big Smoke with chaperone Dustin Ross Fiddler, a councillor with the Waterhen Lake First Nation, to participate in the Create To Learn conference. While there, the teens had an opportunity to network with their peers across the country while learning how to produce video content with a variety of technology.
“After they take this training, they sign a contract with Taking IT Global. They have some requirements to film once they get back into the community,” Fiddler said. “They have to create a movie… at least five of them, using community members, and then teaching them how to use the equipment.”
Fiddler said the teens were given equipment to take home from Taking IT Global to use in the production of the community videos.
Fiddler said he spoke with Taking IT Global staff at the end of the gathering, and thanked them for giving Indigenous youths from communities — which are often secluded and sometimes disconnected from the world outside – life skills.
“You’re giving them experience, you’re giving them employable skills in the tech sector that’s growing, that’s a sector that’s always growing every year,” Fiddler said. “Even with the film and editing, that’s something that hasn’t really ever been available here in Waterhen.”
Raielle Martell, an 18-year-old from Waterhen Lake travelled on a plane for the first time en route to Toronto. While she was initially nervous and some brief turbulence provided its own anxiety, she said she had a blast.
“Everyone was telling me your ears pop really bad, and I was scared for that because I don’t like it when my ears pop,” Martell said. “Toronto, it was so beautiful, it was such a good experience, but it was so humid.”
She noted she and her cousin are already making plans to go back and visit the city.
When it came down to participating in the conference, Martell said she felt as though she and a number of her peers “came out of their shells” after a few ice-breaking exercises once they were comfortable with one another.
“I had such good vibes around them, I didn’t want to leave them, my heart was so sad when we said good-bye to one another,” Martell said. “We were all so so different than one another, but we connected so well.”
Martell said she was excited to get back to Saskatchewan and get down to the work of creating videos. She’s working on a project she said centers around love, and then will shift her lens to highlight her home community of Waterhen for the second of five videos she will produce.
She realized she had fun while creating videos, but wouldn’t yet commit herself to turning it into a career.
“It would be nice to get out there and get more involved with it… it does seem like a really good idea, especially when I enjoy what I’m doing, and I still am,” Martell said. “I can’t wait to go out and get my video… I can’t wait to make another video.”
On Twitter: @BryanEneas
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