The NunatuKavut Youth Community Engagement Project reflects on year three
This year marks the third year of activity for the NunatuKavut Youth Community Engagement Project (NYCEP). There are currently 24 youth participating, ranging from the ages of 15 to 26. They are from Labrador City, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Black Tickle, Cartwright, Port Hope Simpson, St. Lewis, Mary’s Harbour and Forteau. So far this year, NYCEP youth have volunteered an outstanding 2,300 hours within their communities by producing videos and participating in cultural activities and workshops.
Here’s a look a some key projects that NYCEP have been involved with this year.
The Salmon Fishery in NunatuKavut
In July, Community Youth Coordinators Nikita Bradley and Wanda Lee Mesher, along with three NYCEP youth from Cartwright and St. Lewis, spent a day on the water in the Port Hope Simpson area filming with NCC’s fishery guardians. They learned about the importance of the NCC communal fishery and the impact it has on their communities and traditional way of life by interviewing locals and the guardians themselves. Taking in the beauty of Sandy Hook and passing through William’s Harbour proved to be the highlight of the day as it was a first time experience for everyone. While patrolling nets and capturing various footage for the video, NYCEP youth were introduced to using a GoPro to capture underwater footage.
Mealy Mountain Gallery
In August, NYCEP coordinators and youth from Cartwright, St. Lewis, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador City spent time in Cartwright filming a promotional video for Mealy Mountain Gallery. Youth interviewed the owner of the gallery, Pete Barrett, about her connection to Inuit culture through her art, and took part in crafting workshops involving copper clay and copper tooling. The youth really enjoyed the experience of creating pieces of jewelry reflecting Inuit traditions, while using modern mediums.
NYCEP youth from Cartwright, St. Lewis, Port Hope Simpson and Mary’s Harbour visited Battle Harbour (some for the first time) to speak to locals and to learn about the history of Battle Harbour while experiencing what it’s like today. To work on their interviewing skills, participants interviewed each other about their experiences and their thoughts and feelings around the ferry ride, staying at the Battle Harbour Inn, and testing the local cuisine. Youth walked the trails and took in the beauty, while speaking to residents and island guests while filming their experiences.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Video
In September, NYCEP youth from Port Hope Simpson, St. Lewis, Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay were proud to assist with the production of NCC’s “Music and Friends: Honouring our past, Celebrating our resiliency” virtual event to commemorate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Youth filmed and edited musical content and residential school photos, collaborated with local artisan Charlene Rumbolt to create a colouring sheet that was distributed in schools, and helped deliver orange t-shirts to members within NunatuKavut. By participating in this online event, youth gained awareness of residential schools and the impacts they had within their own communities.
Lateral Violence Workshop
NYCEP youth have also been participating in experiential learning opportunities to develop their skills while learning more about Inuit culture. In October, NYCEP youth from Port Hope Simpson, Cartwright, St. Lewis and Mary’s Harbour took part in a Lateral Violence workshop, in partnership with NCC’s Violence Prevention Project (funded by the Government of NL’s Violence Prevention Initiative). Over the course of two days, youth learned about lateral violence, lateral kindness, and mindfulness while taking part in cultural activities in Port Hope Simpson. With help from community members and elders, youth learned how to make sealskin ornaments, learned about Inuit drumming, spent time on the land learning how to prepare rabbit slips, and sampled traditional foods.
Labrador West Indigenous Service Centre
In November, NYCEP youth from Labrador City, Port Hope Simpson, St. Lewis, Cartwright, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay took part in a video editing and craft workshop, in partnership with the Labrador West Indigenous Service Centre. While in Labrador City, youth had the opportunity to practice their editing skills while working on a video for the NYCEP and learned how to make sealskin poppies for Remembrance Day. Staff from the Labrador West Indigenous Service Centre provided youth with a glass etching workshop and surprised them with a bonfire where they got to try bannock (and some delicious homemade jams) for the first time!
The NunatuKavut Youth Community Engagement Project (NYCEP) was developed for youth living in NunatuKavut between the ages of 15 and 30. Youth learn a variety of multi-media skills to help tell stories about community life and Inuit culture, traditions and history through photography, videography and journalism. The goal of NYCEP is to increase civic engagement by providing youth with meaningful volunteer service opportunities, while promoting mutual understanding and respect between Inuit and non-Inuit youth. This project is coordinated through NunatuKavut Community Council’s (NCC) Health and Social department.