About N'we Jinan

The Story of N'we Jinan

The Mobile Production Studio

N’we Jinan, whose name means “we live here” in James Bay (Eastern) Cree, was coined in 2014 by former Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Youth Council, Joshua Iserhoff and Montreal music producer and educator, David Hodges.

N’we Jinan began as a one-week intensive program for youth to learn about and acquire skills in sound recording, music production, songwriting, and performance. Through the Mobile Music and Production Studio, original songs were created that centred on themes of cultural identity, language, struggle, love, and self-acceptance. To date, more than 900 First Nations youth have participated across 70 communities, resulting in 140 songs and videos that have been viewed more than 20 million times online. View the videos here.

Between 2014 and 2021, the Mobile Production Studio has given participants an opportunity to write, edit, practice, perform, and share their talents with the entire world. The Studio encourages youth to build confidence and creates healthy space for collaboration, teamwork, and peer to peer support.

Integrative Arts Studio

After the first few years of the Mobile Production Studio’s cross-country tours, the N’we Jinan Integrative Arts Studio was developed as a response to a call for more creative learning opportunities and art-based programming. The goal of the N’we Jinan Integrative Arts Studio is to provide opportunities for schools to bring professionally trained artists into the classroom and create art with students.

Throughout the 2017-18 school year, the N’we Jinan Integrative Arts Program was implemented in four First Nations School Association (FNSA) schools in Northern British Columbia supported by funding from the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC). In this first year, this pilot programming took the form of two five-week artist residencies per school, operating in an after-school or extracurricular setting. More than 300 students participated.

What makes the N’we Jinan Studio Experience Unique?

Studios are facilitated by professional artists

N’we Jinan Studios provide the tools, space, and support for students to express themselves creatively, through a wide range of artistic media, all while working with professional artists. N’we Jinan platforms amplify the voices and stories of Indigenous youth and connect them to other creative youth and artists across Turtle Island.

Students learn to ‘FAI2L’

Creative learning is all about taking risks, learning to love the process just as much (or more than) the product. N’we Jinan Studios invite students to use their FAI2L (For All Ideas 2 Live) books to try things out, scratch things out, and learn by doing.

Students are invited to celebrate themselves, their friends, and their communities

The N’we Jinan Festival & Youth Conference invites N’we Jinan participants to gather, celebrate, and share their artistic creations and accomplishments. The event brings youth together to participate in hands-on workshops, performances, and gatherings and to showcase and amplify the incredible work created by youth. In addition, keynote presentations, guest performances, and guest speakers provide a sense of inspiration and connection for everyone who attends.

The Studio experience connects youth to a wide network of Indigenous youth who love to create

Through the festival, online events, job opportunities, collaborative projects, and training that can extend beyond the walls of the classroom, students who participate in N’we Jinan Studios have an opportunity to build their skillsets, connect with artistic leaders who inspire them, and become part of a wide network of peers who are excited about creating art and music.

N’we Jinan Studios are Powered by inPath

N’we Jinan Studios are supported by a team of pedagogy, programming, and logistics experts committed to the transformative power of creative processes. The inPath team facilitates connections between schools, artists, communities, and builds relationships with people working in the creative sector. They also spend time organizing flights, shipping materials, and working out the complex logistics that come with hosting creative programming from coast to coast.

inPath’s creative network fosters opportunities for youth to share their stories widely, connect with their peers, work with mentors, and build skills that extend beyond the walls of the classroom.

And, as a training hub for emerging and professional artists, inPath also provides employment and training opportunities for creatives who are committed to honing and sharing their practice while expanding their knowledge in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, facilitation, leadership, and co-creation.

Visit inPath.ca to learn more

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