Happening to Us - Using Video to Support Youth Voices

Darryl Tedjuk practicing his new skills on the camera. Photo: Maeva Gauthier

Darryl Tedjuk practicing his new skills on the camera. Photo: Maeva Gauthier

For my PhD in geography, I use participatory video to engage youth in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories on global changes affecting them. Community-based research is awesome, because my research project quickly became our project (with partners), and is now becoming THEIR project (the youth started TukTV!).

Group photo by the Arctic ocean after the youth interviewed Randal "Boogie" Pokiak. Row 1 (l to r): Jaro Malanowski from Avatar Media, Eriel Lugt, Brian Kikoak workshop assistant, Michele Tomasino from Mangilaluk School, Maeva Gauthier from the University of Victoria. Row 2 (l to r): Darryl Tedjuk, Carmen Kuptana, Randal "Boogie" Pokiak, and Nathan "Muk" Kuptana. Photo: Johan Stroman

Group photo by the Arctic ocean after the youth interviewed Randal "Boogie" Pokiak. Row 1 (l to r): Jaro Malanowski from Avatar Media, Eriel Lugt, Brian Kikoak workshop assistant, Michele Tomasino from Mangilaluk School, Maeva Gauthier from the University of Victoria. Row 2 (l to r): Darryl Tedjuk, Carmen Kuptana, Randal "Boogie" Pokiak, and Nathan "Muk" Kuptana. Photo: Johan Stroman

The Nuna Tariuq Silalu film project (Land, Sea and Air) is a community-based research project that provides opportunities for youth in Tuktoyaktuk to learn filmmaking skills to share stories on topics that matter to them. The youth involved chose to create two movies, HAPPENING TO US a film on how climate change is affecting people in Tuk and the second, LIVING IN TWO WORLDS, is a film about youth navigating life in the modern and traditional worlds. The Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation partnered with Maeva Gauthier from the University of Victoria, Michèle Tomasino from Mangilaluk School and Jaro Malanowski from Avatar Media to make this project possible. Seventy people attended the community film screening in Tuk on June 19 and more film screenings will be planned in the region including international film festivals. In total, seven youth participants completed the 2.5 week film training.

The youth also had the opportunity to meet with Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. Exciting developments from this initial project include invitations to United Nations Climate Change conferences, additional film projects and a new student-led organization to offer film services in Tuk called TukTV.

Carmen Kuptana and Eriel Lugt interviewing Minister Catherine McKenna during her visit in Tuk for the Inuit strategy launch on climate change. Photo: Maeva Gauthier.

Carmen Kuptana and Eriel Lugt interviewing Minister Catherine McKenna during her visit in Tuk for the Inuit strategy launch on climate change. Photo: Maeva Gauthier.

We are thrilled that people believe in this project and in supporting the youth. Funding partners for the project and the research is provided by the Indigenous Skills Employment Training Program (ISETP) by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation; the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program (CCPN) by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Aurora Research Institute, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP), and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). Thanks to Students on Ice Foundation as well for supporting my first visit in Tuk in 2018 to run an intro to filmmaking workshop with the youth, which made everything possible!

Special thanks to the community of Tuk, Mangilaluk School, Tamara Voudrach from the Inuvialuit Communications Society, Dustin Whalen and Angus Robertson from NRCAN, and Shaun Cormier, Jocelyn Noksana and Kendyce Cockney from TCC.