We Matter is a national campaign designed to share the message to Indigenous youth struggling with suicidal thoughts and other hardships that no matter how hopeless or lonely things feel, there is always a way forward.
Suicide rates for Indigenous youth are several times higher that of other Canadians, as well as instances of addiction, abuse, violence, and many other issues. We believe this doesn’t need to be the case.
As a registered non-profit organization, our mandate is to communicate to Indigenous youth that their lives 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 video messages of hope and positivity with youth who are going through a hard time. By sharing our stories, our words of encouragement, and our authentic messages of hope and resilience, we help to make a community stronger. We remind youth that I matter. You matter. We matter.
MEET WE MATTER
The We Matter Campaign was concepted in the summer of 2016 by Denınu K’ue First Nations brother and sister Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers. Growing up in the Northwest Territories, they saw potential to connect Aboriginal youth, and provide help and guidance in an interactive, multi-media format.
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.
is a two-spirit student, advocate, and poet belonging to the Dene Nation, Northwest Territories. Leaving home at a young age to pursue a degree in International Development Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario, she began to discover the path she was meant to be on – finding her Indigenous community, queer community, and communities committed to social change. Now attending Wilfred Laurier University for her Master of Social Work, she continues to pursue her passion for community development and Indigenous youth empowerment. Tunchai has spent a significant amount of time working in and with First Nation communities in Northern Ontario and studying and travelling across Latin America. By the age of 22 she has been named one of MTV and WE Day’s Top 10 Drivers of Change in Canada, is a recipient of territorial, university, and nationwide scholarships, has been published in the University of Guelph’s Undergraduate Journal of Gender and Feminist Studies, and has co-founded the We Matter Campaign. In her spare time Tunchai loves to lift heavy weights, practice ceremony, read and listen to good stories, and write poems about people who inspire her. She also claims to be a nomad, just like her ancestors.
As We Matter grows, we hope to have video, art and written submissions from every Aboriginal community across Canada so that all youth can feel the support of their home community. We encourage you to add your voice. Your feelings of sadness, your feelings of hope, your own lived experience and your resilience can help remind youth why their lives matter. Every voice added makes a real difference.
Canada is huge, and not all communities have readily accessible internet connections.
We are reaching out to share our messages in hard copy formats. Please connect with us if you would like to bring We Matter to your community. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our model of sharing messages of hope and resiliency was based on the It Gets Better Project, an initiative to share videos of hope and positivity with LGTBQ youth. These messages remind youth that life becomes easier and gets better if they can get through the difficult teenage years.
We thank the It Gets Better Project for their ongoing support as our Organizational Partner, and encourage you to visit their website for more videos addressing community, strength and resiliency in the face of adversity.
We Matter has only been possible thanks to the kind support of the people and organizations who believe in a world where Aboriginal youth have the resources to overcome hardships, struggles with mental health, and suicidal ideation. Please visit Our Partners page to learn more.