Arts Festival Helped Youth Discover Passion for Art

Payepot FHQTC Arts Festival PosterThe Acting Out! But In A Good Way research team members partnered with different schools from File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) and Thom Collegiate to create the First Annual Arts Festival held at Payepot school located in Piapot First Nation.

The school also contracted a number of First Nation artists including IPHRC Research Assistants, Erin Goodpipe and Ben Ironstand, to create the art with the youth. Students from kindergarten to grade 12 participated in the event. The school even partnered with Thom Collegiate to create the different art pieces. The festival included visual arts, music, dance, and language was also a large part of the event. There was flute playing; readings, poems, a student drum circle; hand drum playing; and pow wow dance presentations, and “Oh Canada” sung in the different languages represented in the FHQTC region.

Ben and Erin created art pieces with the Kindergarten- Gr.2 classes. In order to achieve this, they created group pieces where the students gained inspiration through nature walks, games, viewing/observation exercises, talking circles, and conversation. Then as a group the kindergarten students created their art on a moose hide and the grade 1 and 2 classes collaborated on the large canvas. They wanted to capture their stories and experiences through art using images and language.

The next step is working in partnership with Payepot school to discover how an arts event like this effects the youth and community. Erin and Ben have already received signed consent by the principal to start doing this work. This will mostly consist of conducting interviews with the youth, parents, teachers, artists, and other community members involved in the event.

Click to read the Piapot Artist Statements
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Acting Out Research Project Featured in Degrees Magazine

The Acting Out! But In A Good Way research project was recently featured in Degrees Magazine.

Degrees Magazine coverThe article showcased IPHRC research associates and assistants involved with the research project. Erin Goodpipe was a Grade 9 student at the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation School when she first participated in a week of workshops provided by the Acting Out team. Now, she is an undergraduate student at the University of Regina and a member of the IPHRC team as a research assistant working on the Acting Out research project.

As a Grade 9 student participating in the workshops, she learned how to come out of her comfort zone through the theatre exercises.

“I was put on the spot and I couldn’t do it. I realized that leadership isn’t exactly what I thought it was. Ever since then, my whole perception of facilitation and being a leader has changed because of that one exercise,” says Goodpipe in the article.

Since Goodpipe’s experience as a student in the workshops, the project has grown. The Acting Out team now includes over 3 research associates, 3 research assistants,

The workshops were facilitated by Dr. Warren Linds (Concordia University), Dr. Linda Goulet (FNUniv), Dustin Brass, David Benjoe and Tony Gee who is a puppeteer from England.

Describe the workshops

The different activities that are introduced to the youth vary from theatre games and other forms of art to improve the well-being of the youth.

“We are showing them different mediums of expression, talking to them and teaching them to convey story through those art pieces. Through those art pieces and through story, we find that we are looking at how we can reduce the risk of suicide by promoting that well-being,” says Community Research Associate Dustin Brass.

The full story can be viewed at the Degrees Magazine – Spring-Summer 2015.


For more information, please contact: 

Jeanelle Mandes
IPHRC Research Assistant – KT & Communications
(306) 337-2437