Updated: Sep 15
Storyfest kick off was just awesome as we partnered with the Paradise Virtual Music Festival to get the word out. Mental Wellness has been on everyone's mind since the invasion of Covid-19 arriving in our beautiful Territory.
ShakatMedia wanted to find a creative way to achieve continuity of service and promote youth employment during the pandemic. We presented a proposal to the Yukon Government - Education and Labour, to provide an alternative, safe, and employable opportunity to both educate and inspire creative employment opportunities to youth around the Yukon. "More Than Words" StoryFest was accepted then soon after and unofficially, the name transformed to Yukon StoryFest 2020.
Story-telling has been essential to communications throughout the history of the Yukon with ancestors paying forward valuable lessons of survival, traditions and songs. It was a way to insure continuity of culture and tradition. In our current situation and modern adaptive techniques, we discover story-tellers to be expressive, artsy, and adventurous. Youth now have access to new technologies, access to individual and opinionated voices, they have the ability to express and play to promote self awareness, community and share incite to mental wellness.
With this project they were also attuned to be paid for their learning and expressions as Covid-19 stole any options for normal summer employment. We cannot thank the Yukon Government enough to provide these students the stipend to get them through to their next school year and for entrusting our newly formed business with coordination.
Many thanks go out to our partners for assisting with making this project a success for all those who were involved. With any luck... we hope to have the project extended to continue this alternative income to students in need or cannot find appropriate income for this next round and year of being educated.
We would like to thank the editors and staff for working tirelessly on the youth projects and to get a bulk of them ready for release beginning Sept 15th. We plan to time release the youth projects over the next month, please encourage them, their bravery, and their tenacity to take part in this festival. The learning curve was steep, but we thoroughly enjoyed each submission and hope to see most of you continue with submitting in the future. A Youth voice is so valuable with understanding current events and individual needs. The lanscape changes quickly from one generation to the next and without their voice we would be lost to aid them in their journey.
Special thanks to :
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, Selkirk, and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations for allowing us to film and have workshops on your traditional territories.