Tunchai Redvers, and her brother Kelvin, decided to create a multi-media campaign for indigenous youth this year, after reading about the crisis in Attwapiskat, where more than 100 people have tried to take their own lives.
Their message is simple: to tell Indigenous youth across Canada that their lives matter through a collection of short inspirational videos that share messages of hope and love from people who have been there. The campaign is called We Matter.
Anyone can upload a short video message, art, stories or poetry directly to their website,
Redvers, a Wilfrid Laurier student, and her brother Kelvin, a film maker in Vancouver, grew up in what she describes as an isolated community in the Northwest Territories.
She says the hardships that Indigenous youth face are not foreign to them.
“Speaking through my own experience, it can be extremely lonely and hopeless when you are in those young years,” Redvers told Craig Norris, host of CBC’s The Morning Edition, on Wednesday.
“You really truly feel like nothing is going to get better, that tomorrow doesn’t look that bright and so I think it really comes down to a raw sense of hopelessness,”
They started working on the idea for ‘We Matter’ back in March and used a similar platform like the ‘It Gets Better’ project in the U.S.
Since the campaign’s launch in October, ‘We Matter’ has reached over one million people through social media and have received hundreds of thousands of shares and Facebook messages.
“We have received emails and Facebook messages of people in communities saying, ‘Thank you for reminding me that my life matters’,” said Redvers.
Redvers and her brother want to make sure that all Indigenous youth receive the message.
They are in the process of getting USB sticks with videos from their website to Indigenous communities with poor or no internet connection.