Four Directions Secondary School was the site of a music video launch on Tuesday, November 9.

“Together We Thrive” was written and developed by a group of grade 10-12 Indigenous students, and was inspired by the unmarked graves of 215 children discovered at Tk’emlups te Secwepemc in May.

Featuring Draiden Ambridge, Skyler Oakes, Mileo Merrill, Jaynus Lecoy Peters, Evan Tarlit, Kevin Lavoie-Dick, Flower Dick, Charlie Cuthbert, and Daisy South, the song is dedicated to all Indigenous Peoples who call Turtle Island their home. The creation is tied to the 2021-2022 Inquiry theme, RE-Connecting: Renewal; Reciprocity; Reclaiming; and Resilience.

“It was a lot of fun and I had a great experience. There was a lot to learn from it,” Ambridge told CBC Radio’s Shelley Joyce. “At the end of it, it felt like we accomplished something good and we’re all proud of what we were able to get done.”

The students participated in a one-week intensive program through the Mobile Production Studio’s N’we Jinan initiative to learn about and acquire skills in sound recording, music production, songwriting, and performance. From there, the group developed the concept, lyrics, and storyboard for the music video as part of their English, Contemporary Indigenous Studies and Art courses at Four Directions.

 “The impact for the students to participate in this experience has been profound,” explained Cory Carmichael, Principal at Four Directions and Twin Rivers Education Centre. “Not only did they have the opportunity to learn about video and music production, explore their creative talents, and showcase their learning in a very courageous way, the students were pushed beyond their regular comfort zone in a safe and nurturing environment.” 

Carmichael shared that, upon completion of the project, several students noted a boost in confidence, that they had grown personally, and they felt pride in who they are, and where they have come from.

“The students’ response to the project really embodies what we are working on as educators at Twin Rivers Education Centre and Four Directions – that students gain competencies and skills for the future, while generating a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.”

This story has been reproduced with permission from School District 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). The original posting can be found here.