The Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia has launched a six-part podcast series, connecting Indigenous youth and Knowledge Keepers to discuss all things from art and ceremony, Indigiqueer identities, to child welfare and education systems.
Written, produced, and hosted by a team of Indigenous youth aged 18 to 30, Love, Land and Spirit encourages the sharing of experiences and unique perspectives.
The project was designed by the centre’s community outreach co-ordinator, Jess Boon, as the centre was pushed to act creatively to engage the community during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to create a youth-driven project that followed COVID safety guidelines while bringing together youth, Elders and other knowledge holders to dialogue about the legacies of residential schools, the ongoing impacts of colonialism in Canada, and other topics important in their lives. A youth-driven podcast project, facilitated over Zoom, seemed appropriate for pandemic times,” she said.
In a statement, the centre said the lasting impacts of colonialism and residential schools “take on many forms, and those impacts are evident in the experiences of inter-generational survivors. Validating youth’s agency to tell their truths is both empowering for the participants and supports healing for the collective community.”
The first episode, released earlier this month, features Driftpile Cree Nation author and scholar Billy-Ray Belcourt and Treaty Six territory TikTok creator Nim. The second episode discusses repatriation, with upcoming episodes focussing on food sovereignty and storytelling.
“This generation of young people are well informed, brilliant and beyond interesting. It is exciting to know that these are some of the exceptional Indigenous youth leading us into a bright tomorrow,” said Chas Coultee, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls coordinator at IRSSS.
The centre’s academic director, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, said the podcast is an example of how UBC can collaborate with a community that is “truly reciprocal and mutually beneficial.”
“Not only does this project build capacity and empower Indigenous youth, it also helps build stronger UBC-community relationships and provides an opportunity for deeper understanding amongst staff, students and faculty as we strive to realize UBC’s vision and commitments to building respectful relationships with Indigenous people.”
Released weekly each Thursday, more information about the program and episodes can be found on the UBC website.