Ateliers de formation du Wapikoni mobile

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Ateliers de formation du Wapikoni mobile

$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
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Initiated in 2004 by cinematographer Manon Barbeau and co-founded by the Atikamekw Nation Council (Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw) and the First Nations Youth Council of Quebec and Labrador (Conseil des jeunes des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador) the Wapikoni Mobile is a travelling training studio that offers audiovisual and music workshops to young Aboriginals living in remote communities. This unique project of social intervention and artistic training allows Aboriginal youth to express themselves through video and music, to expand their horizons beyond their usual surroundings and to shine in their own communities and throughout the world. Through individual and collective empowerment, and with the development of social, technical and artistic skills, Wapikoni aims at a better social, educational and professional integration of these youths within their own community and society as a whole.

The idea of the Wapikoni Mobile was born in 2000 in Wemotaci, when Manon Barbeau was helping a group of young Atikamekws to write the script of a fiction film. Her closest collaborator was then a 20 year old woman named Wapikoni Awashish. Engaged in the Wemotaci Youth Council (Conseil des jeunes de Wemotaci), Wapikoni worked at developing several projects for her own community. Witness of a lot of distress and suicides among the surrounding youth, she was a beacon of health, strength and hope, and a positive model for her generation. Unfortunately, Wapikoni died in May 2002, when her car collided with a forestry truck parked along the road. Already very much shaken by the distress and the numerous suicides of the community youth, Manon Barbeau was upset by Wapikoni's death and came up with the idea of a mobile studio as the meeting and creation place for the young aboriginals. Wapikoni Mobile was founded to honor her memory and to help the youth of her age.

This innovative project uses video and music, which are the youth favorite media means, as intervention and training tools. We should also highlight that the Aboriginal communities burst with talented young cinematographers and musicians who, however, have very little access to resources that allow to express themselves and develop their talent and skills. Wapikoni tries to bridge this gap by offering hands-on workshops specifically geared to the interests and realities of young Aboriginals.

The increasing number of positive testimonies and success stories confirms the relevance of our action and the impact of this project on hundreds of youngsters (see Their workshop attendance revives their confidence in their abilities and strengthens their self-esteem, which are the basis for success. The workshops foster their motivation and resilience, and also develop abilities and skills that will help them overcome future obstacles. Listen to the recent report from CBC Boréal Hebdo on the Wapikoni Mobile’s impacts on youth : .

Since its inception, the mobile studio has reached more than 2,000 youth of 7 Nations, in 19 communities. These youngsters have produced 450 short films, 350 musical pieces and have, to date, won 50 prestigious awards in national and international festivals.

Le Wapikoni mobile a pris naissance à Wemotaci en 2000 alors que Manon Barbeau travaillait avec un groupe de jeunes Atikamekws à l’écriture d’un scénario de film de fiction. Sa plus fidèle collaboratrice était alors une jeune fille de 20 ans, Wapikoni Awashish. Impliquée au Conseil des jeunes de Wemotaci, Wapikoni travaillait au développement de plusieurs projets pour sa communauté. Alors qu’il y avait beaucoup de détresse et de suicide chez les jeunes autour d’elle, elle incarnait la santé, la force et l’espoir et constituait un modèle positif pour sa génération. Malheureusement, en mai 2002, Wapikoni trouva la mort dans un accident quand voiture percuta un camion forestier garé en bordure de la route. Déjà profondément bouleversée par la détresse et les nombreux suicides chez les jeunes de la communauté, Manon Barbeau se révolte contre la mort de Wapikoni et conçoit alors l’idée d’un studio mobile comme lieu de rassemblement et de création pour les jeunes autochtones. C’est pour honorer sa mémoire et pour venir en aide aux jeunes de son âge que le Wapikoni mobile a été créé.

Ce projet novateur recourt à la vidéo et à la musique, deux médias très prisés chez les jeunes, comme outils d’intervention et de formation. Soulignons que les communautés autochtones regorgent de jeunes de cinéastes et de musiciens talentueux, mais ceux-ci ont très peu accès à des ressources qui leur permettent de s’exprimer et de se perfectionner. Le Wapikoni vient donc combler cette lacune en offrant des ateliers pratiques, spécialement adaptés aux intérêts et à la réalité des jeunes autochtones.

Le nombre croissant de témoignages positifs et d’histoires de réussite confirme la pertinence de notre action et l’impact du projet sur la vie de centaines de jeunes (voir Leur participation aux ateliers leur redonne confiance en leurs capacités et renforce leur estime de soi, à la base de toute réussite. Les ateliers stimulent aussi leur motivation et leur résilience, développent des aptitudes et des compétences qui les préparent à surmonter les obstacles. Écoutez le récent reportage de CBC Boréal Hebdo sur les impacts du Wapikoni mobile sur les jeunes :

Depuis le début, le studio mobile a rejoint plus de 2 000 jeunes de 7 nations, dans 19 communautés. Ils y ont réalisé 450 courts métrages, 350 musiques et ont remporté à ce jour 50 prix prestigieux dans des festivals nationaux et internationaux.

About You
About You
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Wapikoni mobile

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization

Wapikoni mobile

Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples


What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations people.

What best describes your group or organization

Non-profit organization.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

The Wapikoni Mobile travelling studios offer audiovisual and music training workshops to young Aboriginals living in remote communities.

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Established (it has been running for a while, has grown and know it is making a difference)

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

The training workshops will allow thousands of youngsters to increase their self-esteem and to develop skills that will be useful to them their whole lives. They will be encouraged to return to school or to further their education. They will learn how to work as a team, overcome obstacles, master digital communications tools, and they will actively be involved at every stage of the process. These young people will also present their work during a community screening, which will be a great moment of pride and collective reconciliation. Medium term, several will undertake a personal or professional journey in the field. Longer term, they will become active citizens and will contribute to the enhancement of their economic situation, as well as that of their families and communities.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

To reach out to a maximum number of young Aboriginals living in remote communities and offer them training workshops.

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

Wapikoni Mobile will have contributed to the development of resilience in participants who, in turn, will inspire the youngest to get involved in their own communities. This project will also have contributed in reaching several First Nations objectives in education and culture:
- reducing drop-out rates in schools;
- increasing educational attainment and successful completion of studies;
- promoting non-traditional professions amongst women;
- giving access to technology, creation and communication tools;
- developing skills that facilitate school-to-work transition and employability;
- strengthening identity and self-esteem by highlighting the importance and use of traditional languages and cultures.

Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

Health Canada is our main partner and supports our work in the fields of suicide prevention and health promotion among young Aboriginals.
We also receive help from Public Safety Canada, which supports a drug and criminality prevention pilot project.

Some of our other partners include: Status of Women Canada, the provincial Ministry of Culture, Communications and Status of Women of Quebec (MCCCF), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts and Letters Council of Québec (CALQ), Telefilm Canada, the Secretary of Aboriginal Affairs of Quebec, the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife Protection of Quebec, the Bombardier and Simple Plan Foundations, and the TELUS Committee of Montreal.

We also want to mention the collaboration of the Band Councils and the local organizations that welcome us.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

On top of the above-mentioned partners, Wapikoni Mobile enjoys many supports :
- Samian, Anishnabe rapper and spokesperson;
- Chief of Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Ghislain Picard;
- Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation, Eva Ottawa;
- 8 Chiefs of the Innu Nation of Quebec;
- First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec (FNHRDCQ)
- First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC);
- Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy NETWORK;
- Innu Surgeon, Stanley Vollant;
- Tshakapesh Institute;
- University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM)
- National Association of Friendship Centers
- Band Council of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi;
- Oxfam Quebec
- Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission of Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse).

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

Our greatest challenge lies in the consolidation of our financial support for our audiovisual and musical training workshops in the years to come. We also have to find and finance new premises in March 2012. Local resources facilitate our work on the field and ensure the promotion of the workshops in the communities. Nonetheless, the project takes place in several remote regions, and the living expenses and transportation fees are always very high: travels expenses of our trailers and teams, flights, the lodging of our trainers and social workers. The need to translate our films, our information sheets and our website in English has also become more and more important.

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

Yes (answer the next two questions)