Wapikoni Mobile becomes official UNESCO partner
MONTRÉAL, Nov. 9, 2017 – The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) and Wapikoni Mobile are proud to announce the forming of an official partnership between Wapikoni and the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Wapikoni will provide consultative services to UNESCO with a view to providing a platform for Indigenous youth to express themselves on the issues affecting them, especially in the areas of Indigenous rights and intangible heritage. This official partnership with UNESCO is a mutual commitment to collaborate in a spirit of tolerance and solidarity in the interests of humanity and in respect for cultural identities.
Jointly founded in 2004 by the Council of the Atikamekw Nation, the First Nations Youth Council of Quebec and Labrador, and filmmaker Manon Barbeau, Wapikoni’s mobile studios visit Indigenous communities and urban centres both in Canada and abroad to provide film- and music-making workshops to young people. These activities produce lasting results by enabling youth to reclaim ownership of their traditional languages and cultures, and by giving them the means to tell their own history.
“Wapikoni has worked for many years to strengthen its relationship with CCUNESCO and UNESCO. Becoming an official UNESCO partner represents the culmination of all the efforts of Indigenous youth to make themselves heard by decision-making bodies around the world,”said Manon Barbeau, Wapikoni’s Executive Director.
“Wapikoni truly deserves this recognition, which will be an excellent introduction for reaching even more Indigenous young people. I have supported Wapikoni in its efforts and I am proud that Quebec’s membership in UNESCO has led to this promising partnership,” rejoiced Julie Miville-Dechêne, Representative of the Government of Quebec at UNESCO.
“I’m delighted to see that the leadership role played by Wapikoni, a longstanding CCUNESCO partner, is now recognized by UNESCO. Wapikoni achieves extraordinarily great things by giving Indigenous youth a powerful voice and helping improve recognition of their rights and cultures. Its success also highlights the important role of media arts in reconciling cultures and bringing them closer together,” declared Sébastien Goupil, Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
Worthy of further note is the fact that thanks to its work with Indigenous communities, Wapikoni has been chosen as a finalist for the 2017 Global Pluralism Award (to be presented on November 15), and that Ms. Barbeau will become a Member of the Order of Canada on November 17, following her recent appointment as a Knight of Arts and Letters of the French Republic.”
Wapikoni by the numbers
- One-of-a-kind intangible heritage consisting of around 1,000 films and 600 pieces of music – an outstanding contribution to Indigenous cultural heritage.
- Over the years, thousands of Indigenous young people have been initiated or trained by Wapikoni in making documentary films or recording music
- Has received 152 awards and commendations at prestigious national and international festivals.
Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. By promoting UNESCO values, priorities and programs in Canada and by bringing the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage, the Commission contributes to a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.
Wapikoni Mobile is a travelling audiovisual and musical creation studio dedicated to Indigenous youth. Since 2004, Wapikoni has visited 25 Indigenous nations in Canada and abroad, and accompanied thousands of participants who worked to direct close to 1,000 short films translated into several languages. These films have received 152 awards and honours at national and international festivals.
For further information: Canadian Commission for UNESCO: Angèle Cyr, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs, T : 1 800-263-5588, ext. 4168, firstname.lastname@example.org; Wapikoni: Virginie Michel, Communications Manager, T : 514-276-9274, ext. 229, C : 514-922-2315, email@example.com