Aboriginal Youth Learn Traditional Arts and Culture At Workshops

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The Arts and Culture Youth Workshop in N'Quatqua included three weekend workshops that provided youth from five Aboriginal communities with professional mentorship featuring traditional and contemporary arts and cultural activities. Innovations provided funding of $9,650 to the N'Quatqua Band of the Stl'atl'imx Nation to offer the workshops for youth to experience wood-carving, drum painting, basketry and dance. The workshops provided a safe, nurturing learning environment and helped build a support network and friendship between youth of neighbouring communities. Forty youth attended the workshops, which were operated by three to six volunteers. An additional 38 community members attended the workshops to show their interest and support.

The workshops renewed a sense of pride in N'Quatqua arts and culture, empowering youth to respect and acknowledge their Aboriginal identity. In addition, the workshops helped to showcase local artists allowing them to pass on valuable traditional teachings. The results of this project were continued through the establishment of a community wellness plan acknowledging the importance of S'tl'atl'imx arts and culture. As well, traditional language classes began, once again, for school-aged children in the community.

Innovations invests in arts, cultural and heritage organizations wishing to create new opportunities for community members to participate in arts and cultural activities. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia.