This post first appeared at SingingForLove.ca.
Attawapiskat First Nation is a northern indigenous community beset by poverty, lack of support and resources, and a suicide crisis that still hasn’t been adequately addressed. Singing For Love has joined forces with documentarian Jackie Hookimaw and others from the community to raise funding for a musical intervention.
I don’t know if you can hear me
but sometimes I feel so small
I can still hear your laugh perfectly
tell me how did you stay so strong…
We’ve drafted a curriculum for teens that deviates slightly from our signature ukulele program in content, but not in focus or intent. The educational philosophy of Singing For Love is based on the premise that children who are provided tools to express their emotions and a safe, supportive environment in which to do so, will engage with their hopes and those of others to create art that reflects a refreshed positivity, while gaining self esteem. Upon taking our own crash course in Native American Music we’ve put together a course of study for young people that will explore the significant history and influence of indigenous peoples on the music we all listen to today, expose them to the voices of many up and coming young people who look like them, and hand them the tools to find their own voices. The curriculum will be made available on Singing For Love dot Net, a site we’re launching in the new year, to permit early access to the course and also to make this and future Singing For Love curriculum available to others.
The funds we raise will purchase instruments and subsidize our travel and stay for a week in Attawapiskat, where the course will take place over an intensive 6 days in March of 2018. We’ll also launch a GoFundMe site with additional details of exactly what we need and how your donations will be used to help. But you needn’t wait… all funds raised between now and March 2018 through the donation button at the upper right of this window will be applied to this project.