Mikw Chiyâm is an interdisciplinary arts program that was commissioned by the Cree School Board in 2015. The program aims to increase student retention and attachment to school by providing an alternative space for creative learning. Mikw Chiyâm aims to inspire youth by creating contexts for students to collaborate with professional Canadian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and express their personal and collective voices through artistic expression. Artists are integrated into school and community-based programming through intensive multi-week creative residencies throughout the school year. We promote art literacy, art appreciation, and collaboration by bringing together students, artists, teachers and community members in positive learning spaces where creative initiatives can flourish. We also provide exceptional pedagogical support for artists and teachers to incorporate the projects within the school curriculum and respond to their students’ needs. This is a living program that is constantly shaped and reshaped in response to the students, teachers, artists, community and administration feedback; we are in constant communication with our teachers, artists, students, administration and community members to reflect and adapt our programming according to their feedback and reflections.
For the 2017-18 school year, we have our arts concentration program running in five secondary schools. We are also piloting integrated programming in one elementary school.
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