FORT ST. JAMES - Seven months ago a group of teens from the Tl'azt'en Nation got together to write and produce a music video. The First Nations band, located near the outlet of the Tache River, created the video which touches on themes of prejudice and culture. Since its release, it has made a major emotional impact on their community and beyond.
One of the artists in the video, Landen-Joseph Millard, has been writing and rapping for years, but life hasn't always been easy for the 18-year-old.
"As a kid I grew up around drugs and alcohol, and homies that did bad things... music has given me hope," says Landen-Joseph Millard, Tl'azt'en Rapper.
In 2016 the Tl'azt'en Education Department contacted N’we Jinan, a music education studio that visits youth throughout Canada and gives them an opportunity to create a music video and an original song. In November 2017 the music video "Why Us" was created.
The heavy hip-hop song is infused with a powerful message which aims to destroy stereotypes and misconceptions about the Indigenous youth of Tachie of the Tl'azt'en Nation.
The singers and rappers in the video were not chosen because of their musical background, but rather because of a history of personal struggle.
Once the video came out, the students weren't prepared for the overwhelming response. "There was hundreds of comments from all over, and they were telling us how awesome it was," says Landen-Joseph Millard, Tl'azt'en Rapper.
'Why Us' is a common saying in this community, and as depicted in the video, serves as an important question for these youths.
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