High school students from Onion Lake Cree Nation are in the limelight with the release of a music video. The song “Young & Happy”, made by the students, shows off young indigenous talent.

The music video was released last week in partnership with the RCMP Foundation, Wichitowin Foundation, Ekweskeet Healing Lodge and Onion Lake RCMP. It’s part of an initiative to support youth resilience through developing musical talent and skills.

The First Nation’s Community Program Officer Laili Yazdani works with the community in crime prevention initiatives. She’s seen the project to completion since it’s planning began last Spring.

“We consulted with youth and discussed the opportunity to inspire them with positive online messaging,” says Onion Lake RCMP’S Community Program Officer Laili Yazdani. “So the song and video that’s named ‘Young & Happy’ shares stories of courage, strength, and hope with healthy coping strategies to address issues identified by the youth.”

The planning for the project began back in April before finalizing production last month. The youth have performed Young & Happy twice in their community, and hope to attend the annual N’we Jinan Youth Festival at the Canadian Human Rights Museum.

Officer Yazdani says the students participating in the project have all had positive feedback about it, and have found it a lot of fun.

“It’s just been an incredible participating in this project and seeing it completed,” says Officer Yazdani. “It’s been an incredible experience to highlight youth talent, creativity and leadership, while also building relationships in the community, especially with youth.”

The video has over 2,700 views on YouTube, and the song is available on Apple Music and Soundcloud. The organization behind the video, N’we Jinan, is a non-profit entity aiming to give marginalized youth a voice through music.