McGill Blog and Stuff

"Art is anything you can get away with." – Marshall McLuhan

Background and Medium

The video by the Indigenous youth of Grassy Narrows First Nation, produced by N’we Jinan, was created in response to the mercury present in their water source, making the water unfit for consumption, which had been that way since the 1960’s. The video demonstrates, once again, a plea for help from the Indigenous community. Most importantly, in the context of media and education, the video demonstrates democratic communication through video and music–made public via internet, this video reached a wider audience than it would have if it was just a hard copy. In addition, it is important to note that the video emerged after a major shift in Canadian politics with the election of a more open, liberal government. Justin Trudeau’s attendance at the Special Chief’s Assembly in 2015 marks the end of a cycle of ignoring and exploitation of Indigenous issues in politics, and the fact that this video was played on national television and re-shared via social media to the extent it was is indicative of that shift. Grassy Narrows First Nation has been pleading the government for assistance for half a century. Many years and many setbacks later, thanks to a liberal government, the news, and social media, a group of Indigenous youth have finally been heard, paving the way for other Indigenous movements like Idle No More and the sentiments offered in the TRC.

%d bloggers like this: