8 youth from Kitsumkalum are attending the hearings today in Smithers to perform their song “The Highway” for commissioners Buller and Audette.
Melynee McDames, Madison Seymour, Chris Spencer, Alyson Guno, Annalee Parker, Megan Christiansen, Linda Spencer and Elijah Stephens will perform the song they wrote and recorded about the missing and murdered women along the Highway of Tears.
Melynee McDames is set to provide testimony this afternoon about the loss of her grandmother, Lana Derrick and how that helped her inspiration for the video.
Commissioners plan on hosting a sharing circle with the students, focusing on the questions, “what is the message you are trying to send out through your work and why is it important?”
The Highway was done in collaboration with the N’we Jinan video project that tours with a mobile recording studio and a video production team into schools and youth centres- specifically focused on First Nation reserves.
This offers youth the chance to create an original song, which the youth from Kitsumkalum used this opportunity to talk about something that affects Indigenous communities located on the HWY 16 corridor- missing women and girls.
After the panel, Indigenous hip hop group Mob Bounce will present to the commissioners the importance of artistic expression and will speak on the role music place in the lives of Indigenous youth.