We Matter is an Indigenous-led and nationally registered non-profit organization that is committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion. Our key project is the We Matter Campaign – a national multi-media campaign in which Indigenous role models and allies from across Canada submit short video, written and artistic messages sharing their own experiences of overcoming hardships, and communicating with Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless life can feel, there is always a way forward.
Suicide rates for Indigenous youth are several times higher than that of other Canadians, as well as rates for things like addiction, abuse, and school drop outs.
We believe this doesn’t have to be the case.
Our mission is to communicate to Indigenous youth that they matter, and to provide resources to encourage and support those going through a hard time while fostering unity and resiliency. We provide a forum for people across the country to share messages of hope and positivity. By sharing our stories, our words of encouragement, and our authentic messages of hope and resilience, we help to make a community and nation stronger. We remind youth that I Matter. You Matter. We Matter. We prove that we are all #StrongerTogether.
WE MATTER IS COMMITTED TO:
Connecting Indigenous youth with positive messages of hope, culture, wellness, healing, mental health and life promotion
Gathering and amplifying Indigenous and Indigenous youth voices
Creating space and opportunity for Canadians to celebrate and honour the voices and experiences of Indigenous youth
Creating and distributing materials and resources designed to empower Indigenous youth
Building Indigenous youth capacity in schools and communities by implementing Indigenous youth-led programming and enabling peer-to-peer support
WHAT WE DO
The We Matter Campaign is a national multi-media campaign in which Indigenous role models and allies submit art, written and video messages sharing their own experiences of overcoming hardships, and communicating with Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless life can feel, there is always a way forward. Since launching in October 2016, the We Matter Campaign has reached millions of people on social media and continues to be an ever-growing library of positivity and hope.
We realize that many remote communities do not have reliable Internet access, so We Matter is committed to getting our video messages of hope to places where they are difficult to access. We Matter USB Sticks contain all of the current video messages and can be requested by communities.
LESSON PLANS & TOOLKITS
We Matter has created a set of 12 Lesson Plans: Indigenous Curriculum on Indigenous Hope & Strength, designed for classroom instruction grades 7-12. These are youth-accessible teachings on wellbeing from a First Nations perspective, and use the We Matter videos as a starting place for discussion.
We Matter Toolkits are interactive and youth-accessible Toolkits to empower Indigenous youth through mental health, wellness and culture. These Toolkits are made for counselors/youth workers, teachers, and youth to introduce We Matter into their homes, communities, and schools, and foster positive mental health, wellness, coping, and cultural pride. They are designed to help youth identify the strength, resilience, and healing power they and their peers already have inside of them, to overcome many of the issues that exist in their communities – and empower them to take action.
OUR FAMILY & PARTNERS
Indigenous and youth-led, we are committed to empowering Indigenous youth through hope, culture and strength.
The We Matter Campaign was started in 2016 by brother and sister Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers. Overwhelmed by the number of suicides and other issues Indigenous youth face, they wanted to create a space that connects Indigenous youth across the country and provides support and love through an interactive multi-media format.
WE MATTER TEAM
Kelvin Redvers, Co-Founder / National Partnerships Director
is a First Nations filmmaker originally from NWT. At age 15, he started a video production company in his hometown of Hay River. His short films made during high school went on to win awards at festivals in Canada and around the world. He attended Simon Fraser University for film production, with continued success at film festivals and garnered his first national TV broadcast credit at age 21. At age 23, Redvers was hired by CTV First Story, an Aboriginal current affairs show, where the first episode he produced/directed won a prestigious Jack Webster Award (the “Oscar” of BC journalism). His narrative short The Dancing Cop premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and screened several other festivals. He worked for a year at the production company Great Pacific Media, developing several television show concepts. He’s currently working towards directing his first feature film, as well, is in talks to host a new television show on APTN. He is very connected to the Indigenous media world, and his work often touches on Aboriginal issues in a variety of forms.
Tunchai Redvers, Co-Founder / National Programs Director
is a Dene and Metis two-spirit social justice warrior, facilitator/public speaker, poet and wanderer belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation. Born and raised in Treaty 8 Northwest Territories, she left home at 18 to pursue studies, graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in International Development Studies and Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship – and is currently working towards a Master of Social Work. She has spent a significant amount of time working in and with Indigenous communities across Canada and studying and volunteering abroad. By the age of 23, she been named one of MTV and WE Day’s Top 10 Drivers of Change in Canada, has been published in a number of works for her writing, is a recipient of the Lawson Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Award, and is the co-founder of We Matter. Her work and writing focuses on intergenerational trauma, LGBTQ+ and two-spirit rights, youth and women’s empowerment, creating positive narratives, and the decolonization and indigenization of identity, mental health and healing.
Linnea Dick, Social Media & Outreach Coordinator
is a writer, orator and activist from the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nisga’a and Tsimshian nations. She became involved in indigenous activism in 2013 with a conviction to create social change and help heal the injustices faced by indigenous people. Through this work, she began to heal and recognize her purpose in life – to advocate for indigenous youth, culture and sexual assault victims through public speaking. During the last two years, she worked closely with UBC, where her late father, Beau Dick, was an artist in residence. He continues to be one of the biggest inspirations in life; a strong sense of identity, integrity and dignity instilled within her. In 2015, she had a written piece published in the book Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity, sharing her journey through activist movement “Awalaskenis” and the importance of connection to culture. Linnea continues to share her story through different avenues, and in her spare time enjoys writing, hiking, meditation and yoga. She chooses to live as her ancestors did: on the path of sobriety and with love for her community.
Chelsea Mulvale, Community & Youth Engagement Coordinator
Chelsea Mulvale is a mixed-heritage gender-bending queer person, who identifies as First Nations, Irish, and Norwegian. Chelsea is a graduate from the University of Guelph with a degree in International Development, and Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship – and is currently working on a Leadership and Management Certificate through the Wilfred Laurier Social Work Department. As an experienced facilitator and one-on-one mentor in topics of higher education, sexual and gender diversity, and mental health, Chelsea has worked personally with youth and adults. They have presented on mental health, inclusion, allyship, and anti-oppression at both local and national scales, and received the University of Guelph’s Diversity an Inclusion Award in 2017. After witnessing the direct impacts of colonization on their family Chelsea has spent significant time learning of Indigenous Ceremony in attempts to reconnect with their ancestry, and they see importance in prioritizing holistic approaches of self-care in their personal work, and work with others. As a person with many intersecting identities that fall on the margins, Chelsea is dedicated to utilizing transformative justice and holistic healing lens’ to help break down barriers that make people feel alone, and separated from community. In their spare time Chelsea enjoys hiking, long walks while listening to podcasts, yoga, figure skating, reading, and exploring creative modes of reflection.
Frances Moore, Operations & National Outreach Manager
Frances Moore is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Timiskaming First Nations who is passionate about Indigenous rights, issues, politics, and general social justice. Drawing on her legal background from Georgian College, Frances Elizabeth has over 6 years of experience in the non-profit sector advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in employment through relationship building, and program management. Frances Elizabeth is a dedicated community volunteer and has served as the President and Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for LIFE*SPIN which is a Community Economic Development organization in London that serves low-income citizens in Ontario providing information and support for individuals surviving on low-incomes, and to support the empowerment and self-development of these individuals in their efforts to attain self-sufficiency for the past several years. In addition to this, she has served as Community/London Police Service Collaboration and Partnership Working Group Committee Member which dealt with race relations and carding in the City of London; a Community Council Volunteer with the Aboriginal Justice Program at N’Amerind Friendship Centre; and currently sits as an Advisory Committee Member for both the London Safe Cities Initiative a partnership between the City of London and ANOVA and +Positive Voice Project out of NokeeKwe; a member of the Pillar Community Innovation Awards Selection Committee; and is a Mentor for Women in Civic Leadership at Kings College University. Frances Elizabeth has facilitated several workshops and has been a guest lecturer with the Police Foundations program about urban Indigenous identity and intergenerational trauma at Fanshawe College. She is a member of London’s Indigenous Leadership Circle Member and Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. Above all else, she is a mother to an amazing young Anishinaabe gwewinzenhs and Auntie to several Indigenous youth.
WE WANT YOUTH TO KNOW
They aren't alone
They carry their own strengths
They have the capacity to make change
There are coping skills they can use during difficult times
Being Indigenous is awesome and something to be proud of
Taking action can improve their communities and selves
They have skills and knowledge that can help others
WE MATTER wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of the following organizations who believe in a world where indigenous youth have the resources to overcome hardship and struggles with mental health and suicide.
Our model of sharing messages of hope and resilience is based on the It Gets Better Project, an initiative started in the U.S. to share videos of hope and positivity with LGBTQ youth who may be contemplating suicide.
Indigenous youth advocate, MSW student, and We Matter Co-Founder
Dene Filmmaker and We Matter Co-Founder
Chartered Professional Accountant, Coast Funds
Award Winning Mohawk Vocalist and Performer
Anishinaabekwe Associate Professor and Director, Centre for Indigegogy, Faculty of Social Work, Laurier University