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Video spreads message of change

About 60 people were gathered in the city council's chamber at Tom Davies Square Friday morning, viewing an eight-minute video that expressed the thoughts, feelings and concerns of young native people in Greater Sudbury.
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About 60 people were gathered in the city council's chamber at Tom Davies Square Friday morning, viewing an eight-minute video that expressed the thoughts, feelings and concerns of young native people in Greater Sudbury.

The video, called The Voices of Aboriginal Youth, was the result of an urban aboriginal youth dialogue in April 2005 funded by Health Canada and sponsored by the Social Planning Council of Sudbury.

Randy Pitawanakwat, a participant in the native dialogue said the video was about empowerment and giving a voice to native youth, as well as listening to their concerns about their culture, language and education.

"The video is to let a lot of the members of the community to identify and know that there is some resentment and there is a bit of anger there, however it's channelled through empowerment and the voice that we have as youth," said Pitawanakwat, 24.

Julie Ozawagosh, president of the N'Swakamok Friendship Centre in downtown Sudbury, said it's quite remarkable to see youth pushing for respect and recognition in the community.

"Sometimes we don't know where the youth are or what they're thinking so this is really good work that they've done," said Ozawagosh. "Especially in an urban city, because the city is so diverse and everyone is from all over, to really recognize that our culture and language is so important and they want to do something about it."

Members of the native youth dialogue will now take their video to a language conference in Sault Ste. Marie, where they will continue to spread their message.

Ward 6 Councillor Janet Gasparini said the Social Planning Council will be working towards having the video aired nationally on television. She also called upon stakeholders and leaders in all areas of the community to take heed to the message in the video and to work towards change.



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