NSI New Voices 2015 kicks off

Clockwise from left: Cody Blacksmith, Nicole Staats, program coordinator Trinity Bruce, Matthew de Paz, Frances Concan, Kirk Ferland, Kelsey Smoke, program manager Ursula Lawson, Melissa Raven, Kyle McCorrister and Vince Fontaine

NSI New Voices 2015 has begun.

There are so many little steps to get to the actual start – inching along for months – that it kind of creeps up on me. Luckily our students always seem to be in the same boat.

The call for application goes out months before the course begins. Students are interviewed and selected weeks before we launch and then WHAM! They’re in a classroom full time, immersed in workshops, excited and a bit exhausted at the same time.

We started the week in a sharing circle with our elder Colin Mousseau and were then joined by sponsors, presenters, alumni and other special guests for a pipe ceremony and traditional feast (thank you Neechi Commons for the excellent stew!)

I’ve done this often enough that all of my ‘to do’ lists are permanently housed in my brain somewhere, but that doesn’t prevent me from feeling like a hamster on a wheel right up until the moment we sit in ceremony with Colin.

It’s at that moment I feel my breathing and heart rate return to normal. Everything that can be done is ready. Anything else will fall into place. And there will be a few little miracles scattered along the way.

Week one included two intensive days of story and scriptwriting workshops with writer/producer Jordan Wheeler and a condensed history of Aboriginal people in Canada with Dr. Winona Wheeler, associate professor, department head, University of Saskatchewan, College of Arts and Science – phew – and also sister to Jordan.

There’s a lot more to come but thankfully the students had their ‘social media’ workshop with NSI’s Liz Hover yesterday morning and I’m handing the blog post gauntlet to them.

So stay tuned for far more creative and interesting posts from them. I’m not being self-deprecating. I’m reminding our students that they’ll be responsible for bringing the creativity and interest.

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