Statement at the House of Commons, on September 19, 2011, concerning the Wapikoni mobile

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about Wapikoni Mobile: a project involving two travelling studios that have visited over a dozen first nations villages every year for the past seven years.

To date, 2,000 young people have learned to create and produce movies and music and develop basic skills, life skills and even survival skills.

This program is for marginalized youth who are not reachable in the more traditional ways: youth at risk for dropping out of school, addiction or suicide.

Wapikoni Mobile restores their confidence and their appetite for learning and helps them prepare to enter the workforce.

The proof is in the pudding: the project creates local jobs and has won 44 Canadian and international awards. What is more, these contemporary works help break down stereotypes and promote aboriginal culture across the country and throughout the world.

Long live Wapikoni, in spite of the recent, unexpected cuts to the program.