Let's hear from some of the youth who have attended the program!

What do the staff think about the road to freedom program?

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SheShegwaning First Nation

“With technology, a lot of the youth are very well versed with using their phones and internet. To some degree I think they thought that being a Youtuber or doing videos for online was such a far thing to do but this workshop shows that it is possible to do. That they can create videos right from here. It shows their capabilities.”

“I noticed the youth were very engaged and I think the biggest thing was seeing the smiles on their faces the minute you started talking. It was just like instantly you had their attention. It was very nice to see, very nice to see. Seeing them doing their vlogs and everything like that, its just so cool to see them engaged in something like that. It’s awesome!” 

                       Lance 

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Batchawana First Nation

 “Seeing the transition in the youth from yesterday to today has been huge. As we know, the youth can be very shy and in their shell. From 9:00 am yesterday to 3:30 today it has been so great to see them come out of their shells. Everyone has come up to us and thanked us for putting this on. Its also really good to see the quality of work, we have a lot of talented students. We look forward to bringing you guys back!” 

“I think it’s so great that you and your brother are two Canadian, Indigenous Actors and are proud of it. I think bringing that pride back to a level where the youth are able to see visually is really cool. The fact that they can google you and see that its possible for them to achieve high levels of success I think is very special. To show them that just because they live on reserve doesn’t mean they can’t live their dreams.” 

“This program is well worth it! I highly recommend them to all communities. These facilitators are professional, great to have along and have certainly been down to earth with our staff and youth.” Cindy Lou

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Muscowpetung First Nation

 

“They just love it. There are some students there that you never hear a peep from. I am just so surprised to see them go in front of the camera and taking part in the movie making. It really is. It’s pretty amazing. They just love it. You can tell they are really proud with what they did because it’s their creation. It’s all very exciting. We need programs like this to help the youth develop their creative abilities, their artistic abilities and who knows, maybe one of them will become and Actor or Actress, dancer, singer?”“We are definitely bringing Kyle and his Road to Freedom program back here!”             Doris 

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Mohegan Tribe Connecticut USA

 “It was an excellent program. It was a program that absolutely had no bullying. It brought all the tribes together and they all connected. We even went to a public outing event and the group stayed together and continued to hang out. It was an awesome experience, they went home exhausted and excited. I would recommend this to any one who wants to have a team building program.”

“Watching them run around, seeing them read their scripts, like I said this was the first program where there was no bullying, no pushing around, no pointing each other out. Everyone got along and just really enjoyed it.”

“It’s important because theres nothing in the communities to bring children together where they can have fun and forget about where they are from and just be themselves, enjoy themselves. There is a lot of laughter in this program and I thought it was an awesome program to get everyone united and I’m looking forward to having you come back again. Already working on it to be honest... "     Vivian 

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shawanaga first nation

“It was so fun to bring something completely new to the community. Seeing them so into the Acting and film making was great to see. It’s like their Acting skills were heightened to another level or something. Even within a few days. It was like they have been doing this for a long time but they literally just tried it yesterday. That was my favourite part. Watching them sort of evolve within a few days. They had fun and there was a lot of laughter.” 

“It’s a great opportunity for youth. Shows them different opportunities in Film making or photography or behind the camera. The need for First Nation people in film making and story telling industries is like limitless so theres a big need for First Nation people in this industry. It’s important for programs like this because it helps show the youth more opportunity outside their communities. Lets them know that this type of thing is possible for them as well. Thank you guys for coming here. I never thought I would see the youth get introduced in this type of opportunity. To expand their creativity. I am very appreciative of that.”  Josh

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Peepeekisis First Nation

“Interaction with the kids and their ability to just go with their artistic flow. I like the fact that they are introduced to different aspects like photography, Youtube, art, acting. The youth need something to look forward to and they need someone to believe in them. And when they are done you can just see them open up, their like beautiful little flowers and they’re confident and that’s what we need to build within our First Nation youth is their confidence. The confidence to do and believe in themselves. That this is possible for them to be an actor or Youtuber or photographer and going places. That their art isn’t just something to throw away, we need to develop that. And thats what I have seen this weekend so far. They came out of their shell and just blossomed. It was awesome! I would recommend this training to anyone. Its just awesome!” Shawna

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Naotkamegwanning First Nation

 “It was really cool first off to see so many kids get in a little space. Than to see the youth stay behind and take the program. It was nice to see grade 7 get together with grade 9 and grade 11. As the program went on, they just became so much more comfortable. There are kids in here that I have never seen speak in front of a crowd and here they are, getting up and saying some acting lines in front of every one and they started to challenge each other. It was really nice to see them come out of their shell because they don’t get to do that often. Programs like Road to Freedom help out the youth living in remote areas. Today was really fabulous!”  Desiree

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Sheshegwaning First Nation

 

“I think its wonderful. The youth are picking up SO much information with technology. Years ago we saw companies putting up internet towers and we made sure to get internet for our community because it is important.

There are things our youth can do with the internet.” 

“Watching the kids act on camera and in the scenes was amazing. Talented little guys. I never knew how talented they were in that until yesterday.”  The main stream doesn’t know what its like to live on reserve. Its up to you guys to teach that. You are given them something to hold onto. Like their identity is locked in their and mesh it with technology. It’s going to be a good thing because than they can be proud of who they are and know that they are giving something to main stream society. You know? They aren’t just sitting there with a hand out, they are able to do something with this.”  Elizabeth

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Batchawana First Nation

 

“There’s about four of my kids that you got to open up and speak, with their head up. It was so great to see. You also let them all use their cell phones and showed them how it can be a beneficial tool for story telling. You also let them take the lead and let them decide when they wanted to get involved.” 

“There was about five high risk kids here. That’s why I stuck around the first part because I wanted to see if there would be any triggers but instead they fit right in and were excited for the next day. They are actually looking forward to the next steps we do here.”   Lana

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Muscowpetung First Nation

 “From my personal experience watching the youth in the program, there was one youth in particular that is normally very shy and in their shell. When they worked with Kyle, I saw a huge difference by the way they carried themselves. They were a stronger person, more self confident and their self esteem really rose. I just saw a lot of growth with that person. But all in all, every one of them it impacted in a different way. I think it inspired them by showing them tha t they can do it and its possible for them too.”

 “Even the way they now hold them selves in class, they are more out spoken even with me. I think they finally got to see themselves in a different way by this experience. I see them every day in class but to see them on Youtube and on the screen it really hit home for me. Just to see how hard they worked, they put their whole selves into this film. It was very emotional for me. Just to see their growth. It was amazing. I get to see how amazing our youth are every day. But this way its recorded and shared with the world. Now they can see how amazing they are. It shows them in a different light and I think our people need more positive stuff like this.”    Connie

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Mohegan Tribe Connecticut USA

 “Our kids had a blast! We had a great turn out and attendance which was nice. I only got to see one of the films being filmed because there was like three different sets going on. The hotel was crawling with Actors which was cool to see. The guests loved it, I mean it was good time. I would really like to see you guys come back!”

“I believe filming is becoming a lost art. Especially with young people. They do have film schools but locally I don’t see it going on. So this was so nice to show the kids the different angles and technique behind the camera and film making. It introduced them to something new. I thought it as pretty cool.” 

“It shows that the youth can get off the reserve if need be and pursue a career in the arts. Everyone thinks they need to be in Hollywood to make it but showing the kids they can start their careers now is very important.”   Chad

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Sheshegwaning First Nation

 “I didn’t know to much about you guys, I was very surprised when I came in yesterday and saw just how attentive the youth were. They weren't distracted or running around. They were so engaged. It was so great to see that!”

“When I was a kids we didn’t have technology. My kids won’t leave the house without their phones. I noticed trends are getting worse, with obesity or attention spans getting worse. I know we can’t get away from technology so I think the best thing we can do is give them the tools. Provide the youth with knowledge with how best to use technology in a positive way. Being able to self identify and be proud of who you are and your community and culture. Being able to teach the youth the technology and tools to celebrate what they have.” 

“Anytime you hear about life on reservation in the news you see it in a negative light. Thats not the whole truth. There is so much good. This is our chance, the youths chance, to tell their positive stories. To show It’s not just that way here, just because you see a little news clip, that’s not the whole truth. Educational Arts Programs like Road to Freedom gives the youth a chance to tell the whole truth.”    Nicole

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Muscowpetung First Nation

 “The Road to Freedom program is really set up to build the youths confidence and self esteem. They also get to learn about the different career opportunities in film making and Youtube. It helps them to try things they wouldn’t normally try and to help see another opportunity. I would recommend this program to any school, any local school or any community. This program is good for students. It even makes so much sense logically for this program because it’s so important for the youth to learn about social media and story telling. To know what its like in front and behind the camera. I know even for my self I know its not to late for me to go down that path and I wish for the youth to go down that path and learn more about this industry.”   JR

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