Youth, Arts and Media Team

On Decolonization and Empowerment

Empowering youth to become powerful narrators of their own stories, Niriqatiginnga fosters advocacy, policy influence, and decolonized learning for Indigenous artists and cultural entrepreneurs.

With Niriqatiginnga, youth become powerful narrators of their own stories. Producing and disseminating their findings and creative works, they engage in active advocacy for their communities, influencing policies and societal perspectives.

Decolonization calls for dismantling the impositions of external controls and restoring Indigenous systems of knowledge and cultural autonomy. Niriqatiginnga is being built from the ground up, community-driven, and led by Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Metis) knowledge systems rather than western academic constructs. This grassroots approach also aims to prioritize traditional knowledge and community-specific needs.

Decolonized learning is inherently tied to community well-being and resilience. As youth and community members engage with artificial intelligence tools to address vital issues such as food security, climate adaptation, and cultural entrepreneurship, their work directly contributes to stronger, more adaptive communities. It is this kind of empowerment that breeds a generation of leaders skilled not only in navigating modern challenges but who are also deeply interconnected with their cultural, economic and environmental landscapes—a holistic approach that decolonizes and modernizes concurrently.

Arts-Based and Participatory Research approaches explored by Niriqatiginnga involve community members in leadership roles, ensuring research processes are aligned with identified needs, values, and visions. The project emphasizes this inclusive approach, facilitating a model where youth lead and direct initiatives coming from their lived experiences and collective knowledge.

These processes not only affirm identity but also assert perspectives in broader societal discourses, transforming learners into advocates for decolonization at multiple levels.

Next Steps: Arctic Congress 2024

Members of Niriqatiginnga are convening a session titled “Niriqatiginnga: Fostering Food Security and Innovation for Northern Supply Chains” at the 2024 Arctic Congress in Bodø, Norway, which runs from May 29 to June 3. This exciting session will address food security challenges in northern communities in Canada and the United States, leveraging a framework that intersects technology, community engagement, and traditional knowledge exchange. The event aims to build capacity, enhance education, and raise awareness to improve self-sufficiency in food production and distribution. We invite all those attending who might be interested to join in, to engage in these collaborative discussions that explore innovative solutions to key issues affecting northern food systems.

A full listing of presentations, and related sessions of interest can be found on the Niriqatiginnga Events page.

Thanking our supporters

We would like to thank all the amazing projects, organizations and programs that have been supporting our activities these past two semesters, in particular: the University of the ArcticLive It EarthMinneapolis College of Art and DesignUniversity of Minnesota DuluthOpenAI and its Researcher Access Program for supporting our Niriqatiginnga project activities. We also acknowledge funding and support from Manitoba Agriculture and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership – Indigenous Food Systems program, and the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Indigenous Intellectual Property Protection Program.

To learn more about Niriqatiginnga and its activities, visit the news page at: https://niriqatiginnga.ca/news

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Youth, Arts and Media Team

The Youth, Arts and Media Team supports participatory food security research, arts and organizational development. Through this program, funded by Agriculture Canada and the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Skills Strategy, Indigenous youth artists and early career communicators receive training and exposure to various forms of media and communication roles. Activities build career and job skills, supporting outreach, relationship development and engagement. There is a strong emphasis on food sector and digital literacy and training youth in the design and delivery of health and food security interventions that promote healthy messages.

Read our 2024 Summer Update

The Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) will contribute approximately $13.5 million to projects that employ youth and youth facing barriers. Each project will be eligible to receive up to $14,000 in matching funds to employ one (1) employee. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is one of several Government of Canada departments participating in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

Driven by Youth and Volunteers

As a community program, nurturing the skills, knowledge, and networks of our future leaders, this unique, pilot program contributes beyond the success of its participants. It also aims to lay foundations for sustainable and impactful business and entrepreneurship programming.

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We’re proud to be members and volunteers who support the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce.