Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, Prairie Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and the Water Rights Research Consortium administered by the Centre for Human Rights Research at University of Manitoba helped develop a project aimed at empowering First Nations youth to have a stronger voice in ensuring access to clean water.
See an update on the project.
First Nations youth from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, and some from nearby communities, participated in a range of project-oriented activities that aimed to empower and inspire them to think about the traditional, spiritual, and academic perspectives on water. These project activities were held in Sapotaweyak Cree Nation (about 600 km northwest of Winnipeg) from May 28 to June 5, 2012, and from August 13 to 14, 2012. Funding and collaborations for the project activities were provided by the NSERC-CWSE (Prairies) program, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation Health Authority, Health Canada, RBC Foundation, University of Manitoba and University College of the North.
In the event from May 28 to June 5, grade 9 and 10 students from the Neil Dennis Kematch Memorial School, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, were given cameras to record and reflect on water resources important to them and their community. The youth participated in two rounds of photography and discussion activities. In the first round, youth focused on the research question: “What role does water have in your life”? In total, 176 photos were taken by the youth, and discussed and described. In the second round, using their pictures, students developed a storyboard whereby groups worked on concepts of “good water” and “bad water.”
Of the many, many creative photos that were taken, one stood out in particular. This photo, taken by Kendra Campeau from the Neil Dennis Kematch Memorial School, was chosen by Centre for Human Rights Research for use in a poster design for a seminar series that is held at the University of Manitoba during the 2012-2013 academic year.