The 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.