Updated: Apr 6
Photographs by KHÀTÌNAS.ÀXH Community School students.
Video by Agnieszka Pajor and Dustin Wentzell.
Over the past few months the Shākāt Team traveled to a number of different communities to collect stories from youth all around the territory. We were struck by their creativity and unique perspectives on life in the Yukon. Here are some of their stories.
As soon as we started working with the students all the barriers were gone. The students interviewed Elder Margaret as our photographer Nishka showed them how to record using cameras, Paige taught journalistic writing, and Rebecca and Jeremy sat down with the students to write and perform a song about the Elder. The day went great, we encountered high energy and involvement, and got back to Whitehorse with great articles, beautiful video footage, tons of pictures and a fantastic song.
By Justice Aubichon.
I learned a lot about Margaret today. Before we did this, I wasn’t very fond of her and rarely talked to her. I definitely didn’t know she had a story behind her vest. When my schoolmate, Zachary, asked her when she started the vest, she told us that she started in 1997 and worked on it for eleven months.
Margaret is the oldest of her siblings at 65, with the youngest being 51. She was born and raised in Teslin and, from what I heard, she loved life without internet or television. The thing she loves most now, though, is talking to the younger generations in our school. “I can’t ask for anything better than that.” She smiled.
The experiences she’s had and the situations she’s been in, seem so amazing to me. If I could live out those moments, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. Sometimes, I wonder if I will live through things as exciting as that, when I’m older.
A few parts of her stories where funny, like when they left her nine-year-old son outside alone, and he went for a joy-ride on the family boat, and when he forgot that their ancestors were from Alaska. The cool and nerve-wracking stories she had are what really fascinated me to a higher extent than the other things. She had such an exciting life, which is something I yearn for in my future.
Another good story about her son, that she told us, reminded me of “The Boy Who Called Wolf”. He told Margaret that he was graduating from high school, but she didn’t believe him at first. However, when he left for a trip, she got a letter and she had to wait for him to come back to open it, as it was addressed to him.
When he got home, and opened the letter, they found out that he was, in fact, graduating. Then she began making the vest for him, but told him that it was for someone else, in Alaska. Later, though, she revealed it to him that it was indeed his -- at the same time reminding him that their ancestors were from Alaska. “He didn’t even know this vest was for him until two days before grad!” She exclaimed.
It’s a heartfelt story for sure. Very touching, in my opinion. All in all, I learned a lot about Margaret and want to learn more in the future.