The Many Nations One Voice for Wellness
Located in Mohkinstsis on Treaty 7 Territory in Alberta, Many Nations One Voice for Wellness blends traditional Indigenous knowledge with global science to explore diverse perspectives on health and wellbeing. The point of takeoff for this journey are the Seven Sacred Teachings: love, respect, trust, courage, honesty, wisdom and humility.
The term Many Nations includes BIPOC, LGBTQ+, youth and Elders, while One Voice refers to art form. Videography, freestyle rap, poetry, music and dance are the learning vehicles to collaboratively explore health topics, including the science of viruses and vaccines, in the context of community life.
This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) through the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) and brought to you by the TELUS Spark Science Centre (Spark).
Many Nations, One Voice for Wellness celebrates the voices of Traditional Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, global scientists, Hip Hop artists and youth leaders, as they come together in circle to share stories.
The Culture and the Creative Process
The project's community engagement process is based on ceremony, sharing circles, focus groups, rap cyphers, songwriting sessions and collaborative performance art. The culture of the project is for people to come together and smudge, enjoy a meal and share their feelings, before getting down to work. By bringing awareness to the present moment, the crew’s stories can be witnessed with empathy, as listening and speaking are practiced in balance.
The cornerstones of the project are the wisdom of traditional Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and the teaching pedagogy of Dr. Christopher Emdin. Dr. Emdin is the founder of Hip Hop Ed/Science Genius, a movement from New York originally designed to inspire and engage with Black and Latino youth, and focus the power of hip hop to break down barriers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It has since expanded to Jamaica and Canada, empowering youth from many backgrounds to participate in STEM disciplines.