The Program

This program promotes art literacy, art appreciation, and collaboration by bringing together students, artists, teachers and community members in positive learning spaces where creative initiatives can flourish. By inviting professional artists to work collaboratively with teachers to design and implement interactive programming, we hope to encourage students and teachers to learn from and alongside artists.

This program is designed to increase students’ interest and attachment to school by providing an alternative space for creative learning. Our overarching goals are to promote accountability and to empower students by providing them with opportunities to discover, build and share their personal and collective voices through the arts. While being introduced to diverse artists (musicians, visual artists, actors, spoken word artists, filmmakers, dancers, multimedia artists, traditional artisans, etc.), Cree youth will explore themes such as storytelling, expressing personal and collective voice, and spreading personal messages on a larger scale to create effective and meaningful artistic productions.

Throughout the creative residency, the artists-in-residence will also produce creative work(s) that aligns with the projects that the students are being asked to create. Thus, inviting students to learn through observation and interaction with the artists’ creative processes.

The program culminates at the end of each residency with a showcase where students and artists-in-residence will have the opportunity to share their work with their immediate community. In addition, students will be invited to apply to the annual N’we Jinan Festival; a celebratory event showcasing the dynamic talent in the Eeyou Istchee.

Program Goals

Retention

Mikw Chiyâm welcomes students who face significant barriers in their personal and academic life offering them an alternative space for creative expression where they can thrive and feel motivated to continue engaged in their education.

Goals:

  • To promote student retention and increase graduation rates
  • To encourage student excellence in the arts
  • To motivate students to engage in their education and to carry that motivation into other classes

Objectives:

  • We propose projects that foster creative expression and that respond to the students’ artistic passions and interests.
  • We offer opportunities for experiential learning where students can learn from observing and interacting with others in a shared space
  • We promote positive attachment to school understanding the classroom as a rich community of learners and artists.

Empowerment

Mikw Chiyâm offers the opportunity to discover, build, and share individual and collective voice through the arts giving students creative tools to empower themselves and improve their self-confidence.

Goals:

  • To create a safe space for open dialogue where students can express themselves through the arts
  • To address issues about identity, self worth, and individual confidence from a creative perspective

Objectives:

  • Our projects reinforce First Nations identity looking to promote cultural pride and self-confidence.
  • We foster a non-judgemental and supportive environment where we embrace failure and experimentation as fundamental elements of any creative and learning process.
  • We offer opportunities to express thoughts and feelings through images, music, movement and other artistic means.
  • We encourage students to identify and express their individual and collective voice.

Accountability

Mikw Chiyâm encourages students to develop an awareness of their role in their community and of the consequences of their actions in order to develop a sense of responsibility and conscious decision making.

Goal:

  • To form responsible and engaged citizens who are accountable for their actions and their impact in the community
  • To promote commitment and give tools to help students accomplish projects from beginning to end
  • To create awareness of how everyone’s actions impact the learning community and the program directly

Objectives:

  • We invite students to reflect about their own learning process setting expectations and outcomes for themselves.
  • We require students to improve and maintain their attendance level in order to remain in the program.
  • We collect data on student enrollment, participation and grades.
  • We provide constant support for artists and teachers through weekly conference calls and continuous communication.
  • We are attentive to the feedback we receive from students, teachers, artists and other community members to continue developing the program in accordance their needs and experiences.
  • We structure our program in compliance to the Quebec Education Program (QEP)

Skills

Mikw Chiyâm promotes learning processes where students create authentic artwork in various mediums while they develop technical and professional skills that can open opportunities for their future.

Goal:

  • To teach technical skills in a variety of creative mediums –music, visual arts, performance, storytelling, etc.
  • To develop professional skills such as creative entrepreneurship, communication, and community outreach
  • To teach visual literacy, digital citizenship and art appreciation skills

Objectives:

  • We provide an adaptable framework where students can work on the skills their are interested in developing.
  • We require students to constantly work in their sketchbooks and portfolios in order to produce authentic artworks that unfold from their own creative process.
  • At the end of each residency, students share their work with the community in a final show. They are also invited to participate in organizing and promoting this event.
  • We promote collaborative teaching practices where students and teachers articulate their work.
  • We provide resources –LESs, worksheets, rubrics, handouts– and guidance for teachers and artists.

Connection

Mikw Chiyâm creates opportunities for students to collaborate, communicate and connect with their local community.

Goal (what):

  • To create connections with existing community organizations and programs
  • To create opportunities for collaboration with local artists and other members of the community
  • To engage youth outside the program in creative programming
  • To generate intergenerational links and communication with parents and elders
  • To expand and strengthen the links between the school and the community
  • To connect students to working artists from their communities and from other places in Canada

Objectives (how):

  • We foster reciprocal learning opportunities between teachers and professional artists.
  • We create partnerships with existing organizations and programs.
  • We require participant artists to engage with the local community and organize activities open to the public.
  • We build and constantly expand a database of local artists
  • We organize art shows to share work with the community at the end of each residency.
  • We invite youth to present in the N’we Jinan Festival where they can represent their community and meet other youth
  • We create a network of support between the program administrators, artists, teachers, students and community.

Celebration

Mikw Chiyâm celebrates First Nations identity through artistic expression.

Goal:

  • To promote cultural pride
  • To share and celebrate youth’s achievements with the community
  • To disseminate ideas and creative work celebrating First Nations identity on a broad scale

Objectives:

  • We showcase students’ artwork on a local scale through exhibitions in open spaces outside the school.
  • We showcase students’ artwork on a broad scale through social networks and media.
  • We spread youth’s individual and collective messages on a large scale through media and through their participation in the N’we Jinan Festival

The Team

Katie Green
Program Director
katie.green@mikwchiyam.com

Melissa-Ann Ledo
Educational Director
melissa.ledo@mikwchiyam.com

David Hodges
Executive Director
david.hodges@mikwchiyam.com

Lina Moreno
Director of Research & Development
lina.moreno@mikwchiyam.com

Sabrina Bejba
Educational Consultant
sabrina.bejba@mikwchiyam.com

Jordan Brown
Financial & Logistics Officer
billings@mikwchiyam.com

Mark McGee
Residency Logistics & Festival Coordinator
logistics@mikwchiyam.com

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