Introducing: Dialogues Youth Vancouver


Dialogues Youth Vancouver aims to promote sustained dialogue among First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal youth. Three ways in which Dialogues Youth hopes to do this are by challenging and demystifying stereotypes, celebrating cultural differences, and exploring shared interests.

As a result of the Vancouver Dialogues Project, an initiative delivered by the City of Vancouver in partnership with 27 diverse community organizations comprising the project's steering group, Dialogues Youth Vancouver has been developed as a community-led engagement initiative - driven by youth for youth. Using new technologies and various social media tools, the project hopes to engage a large audience of youth between the ages of 17 and 25.

The project's developers intend to facilitate dialogue both online and offline. The purpose of using a web-based engagement campaign in concert with an offline strategy is so that feedback generated online might inform the topics, themes, speakers and outcomes of the offline engagements. The project is designing a series of dialogue sessions and a conference in June 2012 to address and challenge issues being faced by many youth today.

From the Dialogues Youth website:

"We value community, accessibility, self-determination, representation, and equity. We also value dialogue for challenging discrimination, systemic oppression, and colonialism--as well as sharing strengths and celebrating our cultures. Through dialogue, we believe that youth can influence history.

We hope to build alliances between Vancouver’s First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal  youth. We want to learn your goals. What is your vision for an inclusive Vancouver? How do you define inclusiveness and accessibility? What does self-determination look like to you? How would you like to be represented by your leaders? When will you feel equity in your city?

Through a series of Dialogues Youth Sessions and a conference in June 2012, we hope to answer these questions. However, we need your help. Follow us and join the conversation."

Dialogues Youth depends on community engagement to inform the dynamics of the sessions and conference. Through the use of Twitter #hashtags and by signing up to stay in touch, audience members can identify key themes, discussion topics, and relevant issues for youth around the subject of First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal relationships in Vancouver. Vancouver youth can influence who the project interviews for it's blog posts and who will be speaking to them during Dialogues events.

Remember to connect on Facebook! Stay in touch - Dialogues Youth Vancouver #vandialogues on Twitter.


RPM Podcast #012: "Revitalization"


In Episode 12 of the podcast, RPM looks at the Indigenous language revitalization movement. Half of the world's languages have disappeared in the past 500 years and today another language goes extinct almost every two weeks. Indigenous languages are the ones most at risk - which has inspired Indigenous musicians to take up the struggle to save them.

Our host Ostwelve speaks with three artists who are working on revitalizing their ancestral languages.

Miss Christie Lee of the Musqueam Nation raps in Hun'qumi'num' and shares what her culture means to her and how she sought guidance from her elders on creating music in her language.

Tall Paul, of Point of Contact, raps in Anishnaabemowin.  Tall Paul describes discovering more of his culture through his college language course and using hip-hop to adapt Indigenous languages to new avenues.

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, who sings in the language of Haida, hopes listeners can get to a different place, even if they don't understand the words, and she shares how by singing in our Indigenous language we are connecting with our ancestors.

DOWNLOAD: RPM Podcast #012 - "Revitalization" 


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For more on language revitalization, see:

The RPM podcast is produced & engineered by the amazing Paolo Pietropaolo.

Photo illustration created by the talented Joi Arcand.

DOWNLOAD: Miss Christie Lee - "Experience"


This killer track from hip-hop artist Miss Christie Lee is mostly in her Indigenous Musqueam language. The hook translates to "there are no words that can express how much you mean to me" and speaks to Christie's passion for empowering her people, in particular Aboriginal youth, to be proud of their roots. A member of Vancouver's all female hip-hop First Ladies Crew, Christie is a strong, positive voice in the Indigenous hip-hop scene and her music has taken her around the world, from performing at the Beijing Olympics to opening for K'Naan in Vancouver. She sent us this track to check out and we're stoked to share it with you. DOWNLOAD: Miss Christie Lee - "Experience"