We’koqom’a First Nation, Cape Breton NS

What’s with that Treaty?
13 min. 2016

Created by students of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq School in Cape Breton Nova Scotia during a 5-day video intensive with visiting artists Ariella Pahlke and Ann Verrall and multi-media teacher Rob Smith. Students document Treaty Day activities, Orange Shirt Day and ask the question what is Treaty Education. Students also talk about the impact of residential school on them.

Created in partnership with the Off-Centre Collective.

Orange Shirt Day

teacher Tiny Cremo, shows students how to finding poles for eel spears.

Rod Phillips teaches students how to make eel spears

Magit’s Doll
11:23 min. 2016
produced by Ann Verrall
created by Magit Poulette, students of We’koqom’a Mi’kmaw School, Rob Smith, Lindsay Dobbin and Ann Verrall




Elder Magit Poulette shares a story with students at the We’koqom’a Mi’kmaw School in Waycobah Cape Breton about her experience at the Shubinacadie Residential School. When she arrived at age four her doll was taken away from her so she created dolls from her cleaning rags. As an adult Magit searched for a doll that reminded her of the doll that was stolen from her. Magit tells her story and teaches students how she made her rag dolls.



Do You Speak my Language?
16:12 min 2011







Over 2 weeks at the We’koqom’a Mi’kmaw School, a collaborative video project was done with the multi-media students exploring the impact school (past and present) has had on their language and culture? “Do you speak my language” combines interviews with elders and students, an exploration of Rita Joe’s poem “I Lost My Talk”, traditional singing, a rap and spoken word song written by the youth and stories of how the students are trying to reconnect with their language.


composer Scott MacMillan works with students to compose song

We want our talk
“Minuekeyek Ntlisutimnen”
We’re getting it back
“Apaja’tuek Ntlisutimnen”
The talk you thought that was lost
“Ntlisutimnen ta’n tela’sioq keska’qek kisna entu’ek”
Through the elders and through the stories
“Teli apaja’tuek nkisiku’mna’q aqq atukaqniktuk”
We try and try, as everyday goes by
“Mlki wjinukwalsultiek te’sikiskik apaja’tunen ntlisutimnen”
We needa make a change cause no I don’t have it
Eh yo do you speak my language


visiting artists Ariella Pahlke and Ann Verrall record students’ ideas for the video

Created in partnership with the Centre for Art Tapes.
Funded by Nova Scotia Education Mi’kmaq Liaison Office



Production projects take youth through an intensive workshop process to make a short collaborative video. Pieces may combine drama, documentary and music video styles.

Intensive Activities : story development, script writing, video & sound production directing. performance, lyric writing, song recording

Recent Themes: race, love, leaving home, Indigenous language, teen pregnancy, community identity, gang violence, rural experience, democracy

Participants are mentored through the process by a team of professional artists and film technicians. Each Intensive is different. They can be after-school or in-school programs or 1 week full-time. Each video speaks to the concerns and interests of the youth involved. They create imaginative, thought provoking, artistic videos that have the capacity to transform our understanding of the youth are and the world we all live in.