Finding Our Power Together is a collaborative partnership between young people in remote First Nations communities and Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies in southern Ontario. The initiative was founded in 2016 by members of the Nibinamik First Nation Youth Council and researchers at Ryerson University. We started as a way to grow connections between Indigenous communities across Turtle Island in order to share a message of hope and solidarity, particularly to save our young people from preventable death. We collectively understand the value in bringing together young people and community members from various communities to share resources and maintain connection; We know we can find our power together.
We wish to support Indigenous young people to realize their own priorities and goals and to gain access to various supports they may benefit from. This means brokering relationships to mental health and educational service providers, fundraising for community programming or facilities, or providing emergency support.
Our ultimate goal is to end preventable youth suicide in First Nations communities and support our young people to thrive.
Finding Our Power Together began as a community based initiative in Nibinamik First Nation in 2016. During this time, many young people had attempted or completed suicide. Youth in Nibinamik sought to support their own people and worked with members of Ryerson university to film a documentary video, sharing their experiences of systemic discrimination and colonialism. More than that though, they shared their messages of hope and support for the young people in their community and across Turtle Island.
This film was premiered at a fundraising event in 2017 at Ryerson University in Toronto which brought together nearly 400 Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies to share in collective solidarity. We have since grown to support remote First Nations respond to the crises that affect their young people.
During a community visit in 2017, the Nibinamik youth council developed a video in which members shared their own stories and offered supports to youth who may be experiencing suicidal ideation. This video acts as a peer-support to offer help and support to those in need.