Over the past 6 years, I have had the immense pleasure and privilege of working with amazing folks from Nunatsiavut, Labrador. This work has changed my life, and every once and awhile, there is something that emerges from the projects on which I work that allows me to share with others why Nunatsiavut is such a beautiful and unique place in Canada.
This past year, one of my colleagues and good friend, Joanna Petrasek MacDonald from McGill University, began to work in Rigolet as part of the Inuit Mental Health and Adaptation to Climate Change (IMHACC) and Inuit Knowledge for Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change (IK-ADAPT) projects examining youth resilience in response to a changing climate and environment and the subsequent impacts on health and wellbeing.
This May, Joanna had the opportunity to travel to Rigolet to work with students and staff from the Northern Lights Academy school, the Rigolet Inuit Community Government, Marilyn Baikie and Inez Shiwak from the ‘My Word’: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, and Jordan and Curtis Konek from Konek Productions in Arviat, Nunavut.
As part of this project, youth in Rigolet had the opportunity to engage in a two-week participatory video project to create a film about growing up and living in Rigolet. This workshop provided the students with training in video design, camera techniques, interviewing skills, and editing.
The workshop concluded with the completion of a wonderful, moving, informative, and humorous 17 minute film, edited entirely by the students and a community screening.
As Joanna Petrasek MacDonald explained,
The film is about the lives of the youth in Rigolet and full of footage of all kinds of awesome activities that they do in and around town. Not one seat at the screening was empty, there were lots of laughs and smiles, and the young filmmakers were glowing with pride. Since the screening we have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the students, parents, teachers, and community members.
Check out this amazing video, and enter into a world of growing up in one of Canada’s remote Inuit communities, on the beautiful Northern Labrador Coast.
For a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the making of the Life in Rigolet participatory video, check out Joanna’s video:
This project would not be possible without the amazing support and guidance of the following organizations, groups, and individuals:
- Charlotte Wolfrey (AngajukKâk) and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government
- Tom Mugford (Principal) and the staff and students of Northern Lights Academy
- ‘My Word’: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab
- Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development
- Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGill University
- Inuit Mental Health and Adaptation to Climate Change (IMHACC) project
- Inuit Knowledge for Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change (IK-ADAPT) project
- Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project
- First Air and Air Labrador
Finally, a very special thank you to Jordan and Curtis Konek, from Konek Productions, for lending their video expertise and making this all possible!