Tekkru Media Blog

First Nations Youth Perspective

Gathering Our Voices 2009

An all-around great experience!
The Gathering our Voices Youth Conference held in Kelowna, was a refreshing experience from start to end. First of all seeing nearly 1200 youth from all across the province was overwhelming in its’ self. All of these young people, who came to gather and learn together, was really inspiring to me. They all seemed to be having a blast, keeping one another’s company and also meeting new people. There were so many people coming up and asking to sign their shirts or to sign their books just to see how many they could get, and really not worrying about whether they knew that person or not.
Above all, I really enjoyed the talent show. It was great to see the performers get up and share something they really love to do. I can’t even remember any of the names but we seen some; hip-hop artists, guitar player both electric and acoustic, singers, drummers, and drum groups, with a little Métis dancing as well. The energy that the room had was a great feeling, because everyone supported the person on stage. The show started and ended with many cheers, I even saw the wave happen. The talent show is something I look forward to see again.
This year the conference seemed to be about getting the youth into thinking about the future. There were so many workshops on careers and learning new things. A trade’s workshop was held for students thinking about trades as a possible career. A couple of workshops caught me off guard a bit like; the modeling workshop as well as the elders don’t bite workshop. Both these workshops were always the first ones to fill up on the board. However, I was only able to attend the elders don’t bite workshop, and it was quite amazing that these elders where there to share their stories with us and also offer advice to us.
This Conference was a total success for the Organizers, volunteers, and everybody. I would go back again for sure.


March 26, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices | Leave a comment

Gathering Our Voices 2009

Speak Up! Workshop

Speak Up!

Speaking to large group of people is one of the most feared activities for adults in today’s society; now imagine how much harder it is for the youth in our communities who voices are often barely heard in the first place? Youth are not always given the chance to share there opinions or thoughts, but this was not the case in the Speak Up workshop at Gathering Our Voices, youth were given the opportunity to share what was on their mind, and learn new skills to help them better articulate themselves when addressing a large group of people. The facilitators Megan Clarkson, Soren Poulsen, and Kerry Chelsea shared there experiences with public speaking, and discussed some of the barriers that come with it, then explored different approaches to help overcome those barriers.

One of the most common barriers that people face when addressing groups is being aware of their own insecurities, many people when speaking will get caught up magnifying the insecurities they have, in their mind they will be thinking things like “how does my hair look?” or “Can they see my good side?” or “Does my voice sound funny?” This will often lead to an elevated level of anxiety well giving your presentation, making it very difficult to get you point across. Another common barrier is to set up expectations for the presentation before it even starts, this leads to built up pressure to meet the expectations the presenter thinks the audience has, often ending up with scattered thoughts because of the fear of not meeting these expectations, thus the presenter will look unconfident and give what they think is a poor presentation.

Now how does one overcome barriers such as these? Well it varies person to person but there are a few basics, the first being confidence. Presenters need to feel confident in their knowledge of the topic they speaking on, they need to be confident that they can articulate themselves enough to get their point across, and they need to be confident that they will not let their little insecurities create pressure and anxiety. One thing that can help speakers become more confident is practising their presentation, as many times as necessary, because as they say “practice makes perfect.” Another way to overcome some of those barriers faced by presenters is to be passionate about the subject being addressed, presenters should put their whole hear into it. That is how they ran the workshop, at the end the groups that were created, and in some cases individuals, presented on a topic of their choosing not and assigned topic, this lead to some very powerful and meaningful presentations.

Overall I believe that through workshops such as this, youth can become even more powerful then they already are by making sure their voices are heard and respected, which will only make the future of our communities brighter.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Media Events | Leave a comment

Gathering Our Voices 2009


Keeping Culture Alive

Being a young aboriginal person who has lost touch with his culture, it was very empowering for me to witness the pride that other youth who attended the 2009 Gathering Our Voices Aboriginal Youth Conference had in sharing their culture. There were many opportunities through out the conference for youth to share their culture in a variety of forms; there were songs at meal time, there was a pow-wow held, and many of the performances for the talent show displayed cultural songs and dances, some of them mixing the old culture with the new. The youth were not only provided a chance to share their culture though, they were also given the opportunity to learn how to preserve there culture through many of the workshops presented as well, with topics such as working with elders, using new technology, and using funded programs.

The first aspect of preserving a culture is learning it from someone who has much knowledge about it, and who knows the most about culture? Elders, well at least that’s how it is in my community and I’m sure in most other communities as well. The elders of our communities actually lived our culture that was their way of life thus making them the best mentors for someone is trying to learn their culture, and an integral part of keeping the culture alive. In the workshop Elders Don’t Bite, they brought youth and elders together so that the youth that were looking to connect with elders could learn how to do so, and the elders that were in attendance could share their wisdom, patience, kindness, and guidance with the youth so both groups could create an atmosphere where mutual respect and understanding can grow, and work in unity to preserve aboriginal culture.

So after elders and youth get on the same page as far as teaching and learning the culture go, how do they make sure it lasts forever? Record it, and in these modern times there is so much technology available that it wouldn’t be hard to do at all, just need the right equipment and a little training. Dr. Strang Burton, in his workshop Technology & Teaching: Methods for Building a Multimedia Language Lesson, taught youth how to use a computer, a microphone, and the recording software Audacity to record language taught by elders to youth, and possibly use it in future language lessons. The workshop focused mostly on the demonstration of how simple a process it can be to work with a fluent speaker of a language and modern technology to make the language last forever.

Another workshop presented by First Voices also showed how technology that most of us already have, and I-pod and a computer, can be used to record aboriginal languages. The workshop also described the First Voices program, which provides equipment, training, and funding to first nation’s communities to help preserve their culture. First Voices has an online data base of languages from 60 different communities with public access to 35 of those languages. This makes it really easy for a community to come together and work to keep their culture alive and show everybody that they are willing to do the work.

The overall experience of attending gathering our voices 2009 was very inspiring, to see the old and the new coming together to “future proof” our culture and ensure that the generation of today, and generations in the future will be able to learn the culture, and know where they came from.

Chuu (Which means good bye in the Nuu-chah-nulth Language)

March 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Media Events | Leave a comment

The Baker Twins


Shannon and Shauna Bakerwww.thebakertwins.com

never give up

never give up



March 24, 2009


When I was at the Gathering our voices Conference located in Kelowna BC, from March 17th to the 20thof 2009. I had the great opportunity to get an interview with the twins who have their hands full with great things.

 I asked the Baker twins to share to the youth of today to let them know what they should do to get to the dreams they have in life.

The advice they both had to give is to move ahead no matter what anyone says and sometimes it might be your close friends and even the People who love you telling you that you can’t do it. Only listen to the positive words and you shall succeed. People will tell you negative things and you should not ever listen to what they say, they will say things like, No, you can’t do it, No its impossible don’t even bother, but forget about them, just keep going and never give up. If you want it bad enough it will happen and if you think positive then things will work out in your favour.


A lot of people don’t know this; Shannon and Shauna went to school and if it wasn’t for them going to school and having the educational background they wouldn’t know how to market, promote, and manage their selves. Shannon went to school for business management and Shanna went to school for marketing, sales and accounting. The twins promote their selves by: MySpace, face book and their website.


And the bt guys website is  www.thebtguys.com”

Currently, the twins are working on solo projects and they will be filming Trail of Tears filmed in LA, the girls will be playing the bad guys, basically the girls will be ghosts kill People. And the twins are working on their BT Calendar. If you want to apply to be a BT Girl you have to apply and go to


, they have a couple of celebs and couple of cast members of the show twilight. For the solo projects, Shannon is filming a movie in Vancouver and Shauna is working at Style Magazine, it’s a Canadian Magazine. Shauna is doing featured articles on designers in Canada and Shauna Hosts a TV show called City Lights.


As you can see the BT Girls are going ahead and not stopping anytime soon, so keep your eye open for the TWINS


Thank you for your time and consideration


Yours truly,


Carmelita Abraham


Miss Takla and Blogger of the North

March 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Carmelita Abraham - From the Heart, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Gathering Our Voices 2009 in Kelowna BC



The hardest times in my life brought me to this point I am grateful to have the chance to express myself through writing and letting my truest feelings out in a creative and constructive way. There is a place that shines for all and this place will be recognised by many great leaders as there is a starting point for every leader in training.


The Gathering our voices conference brought me to another great place in life. I had the privilege to walk with great honour and true happiness through every part of the event, I shard moments with people and laughed with so many so. I am truly blessed is what I thought.


 I met so many people who were going through life with focus and determination to help the youth of today. I am honoured to say that this opportunity helped me find my true self and what I am suppose to do in life, I am striving to help the youth as well and to be a better leader of my people and community.

At the conference were so many young people and about 12 hundred people all together so the feeling strength brought me to a place of peace knowing I am not alone in this world to help the youth of the nation. I witnessed Powwow  which helped me realise where I come from in this world of  leadership.2-gather-out-voice-2-dance-196 I also had the opportunity to meet young people like myself who have a dream of becoming famous  and showing the world what they have. I have a dream of becoming a recording artist just like Fat Boy who is in the picture on the right The Baker Twins



the Baker twins are great roll models for many Aboriginal youth across the nation. you can find them at 

http://www.thebakertwins.com/ this is the official website for the baker twins

The Baker Twins 

Model Act and are Spokes people


be a leader



March 23, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Carmelita Abraham - From the Heart | | Leave a comment

True change and motivation to become a strong leader

Carmelita Abraham


I have the great opportunity to follow my dream, to become a leader by staying close to the creator and being a true sober person. I have the knowledge to show the youth of the nation that living true and sober is the way to become a strong leader. I’ve learned this weekend at the Gathering or voices Conference 2009, located in Kelowna BC, that being out going and passionate about what you do will help.

Strong leaders show me that life is all about what you make it. If you have the passion to be a leader and truly strive to become a positive person, you will go a long way in life.

I will encourage you to take the time and think of what you wish to accomplish in life and go out there in the world and make it happen. If you want something you should Work hard and make the right choices In life so you will not suffer from the consequences of wrong decisions.

In life,it is so easy to get caught up and side trackeded, so think about the real and the most important stuff in life so you keep focused. stay with all the positive and leave the bad stuff in the past.  I learned that you can change for the better from the most dreadful times in your life. Ialso believe that if you have confidence in what you do, you will not fall.  We all make mistakes it’s a matter of what you do after you figure out that what you did was not a good idea or a nice thing to do. Times are tough, I know that and life is hard for so many people in this world but you can make a difference by choosing to live positive and truly believe in a change for the better. You will lead so many people in the right path if you have the charisma to not be shy and to just follow your every positive dream. People will see and one day you will be a true leader.

For those youth out there who have the dream to one day lead a nation to a good place, I will let you know that you have what it takes, all you need is to never give up and always strive to learn from your mistakes. Truly believe in what you do and the creator will help you through the rough patches.

Thank you for your time and consideration, as I know your time is  important on this planet we share.

Thank you so much for reading this as it is from my heart to you.

Yours truly,

Carmelita Abraham



March 20, 2009 Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Carmelita Abraham - From the Heart | 1 Comment