An innovative School-based teaching program by the Canadian mining industry puts indigenous kids in touch with the geology of their land.
DAREarts, Engage Learn, and the Ontario Mining Association have partnered together to create a unique youth camp focused on combining geology, rocks and mining, with visual arts and film.
The Mining Movie Making Summer Camp (MMMYC) is a fun, hands-on, community based program that ignites aboriginal youth to share their stories of the rocks, minerals, environment and traditional territories with the rest of the world. After three days of hands on workshops led by a world class team of teachers from Noront, DAREarts and Engage Learn, the local youth work to collaborate and create their own aboriginal community video to submit as part of the So You Think You Know Mining competition ("SYTYKM") hosted by The Ontario Mining Association ("OMA").
The OMA's So You Think You Know Mining high school video competition is an annual we-based arts contest open to students from across Ontario. It challenges them to produce a 2-3 minute video that profiles the benefits of mining to society. The SYTYKM competition has numerous Oscar-like categories and more than $33,000 in prize money up for grabs. Winners in each category receive a special trophy and a trip to Toronto for the OMA's SYTYKM Awards Gala in June. The fifth edition of SYTYKM will be launched this Fall.
"After learning more about the SYTYKM youth competition Noront wanted to create a summer youth camp that could utilize the talents of our trusted partners at Engage Learn and DAREarts to facilitate an opportunity for the Ring of Fire Aboriginal youth to tell their traditional and unique stories about the rocks, minerals and geology of their land" said Kaitlyn Ferris, Manager, Corporate Responsibility at Noront Resources. "It is wonderful for our team to watch the youth get excited to take what they have learned about geology and mining and put it into their own perspective as they work on their films".
Over forty of Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre's youth participated in the MMMYC Webequie First Nation Camp. The children were highly engaged by the subject matter and the medium where they were able to visually express their personal stories through film. Jayda Sofea age 11 said, "I would want Mining Movie camp to happen again because it was fun to be on camera!!"
The participants' video can be viewed at the following image link:
Engage Learn is pleased to provide technology and coaching to these talented youth as they embark on a journey of self-discovery and communications. "Look out world! Youth from the First Nation communities in the Matawa region of northern Ontario will soon be armed with video cameras and a mission to tell their stories through their eyes and experiences," said Harvey McCue, past Director General of Education with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and President of www.Indigenous.Net.
"DAREarts appreciates this opportunity to engage our Aboriginal youth in creative ways to build their self confidence and courage to find their voice and be heard not only in their communities but across Canada," Marilyn Field, President & Founder DAREarts.
"The Ontario Mining Association salutes the creative leadership of Noront with this innovative outreach program of visual arts camps in First Nations communities," said Ontario Mining Association President Chris Hodgson. "The OMA appreciates the support of this program for its high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining and we look forward to entries from students in these communities."
The MMMYC camp would like to thank Daneffs Food Market and Wasaya Airways for their kind donations.
The team is currently in Marten Falls First Nation (Ogoki) from August 20-22, and upcoming camps are scheduled in Long Lake #58 First Nation, August 27-29. The team hopes to continue to take the program to the other communities in the Ring of Fire this fall.