This theme comprises film excerpts that give a voice to Aboriginal youth – young people who dream of leaving, confronted by the disappearance of traditional values and the difficulty of living in a world made by non-Aboriginals, and who are, sometimes, condemned to a tragic fate.
Our Hope… Our Future - Everyone will examine the challenges facing Aboriginal youth and identify with the struggles and triumphs of the youth depicted in each of the films. Emerging from the dark shadow of colonialism, Aboriginal youth are faced with a world that has disenfranchised them and left them struggling to reconnect with the values that Elders have preserved.
Plagued by high dropout rates, over-incarceration in correctional facilities, drug and alcohol abuse, and the breakdown of the family unit, the wounded spirit of Aboriginal youth has much to overcome. Complicating this situation is the added reality that they must leave their First Nations communities and move to urban centres that are unfamiliar, unfriendly and unbelievably harsh to the youth who go there.
In light of these daunting challenges, the young continue to rise above their circumstances to represent a future workforce that is the envy of the western world. Our youth: our hope…our future” is a motto for the 21st century that rings particularly true for Native youth, who according to Statistics Canada are the fastest growing demographic in Canadian society today. Only the Elders could have predicted that Aboriginal young people would become a great and valuable resource.