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12 Reminders To Indigenous Youth That You Matter And You Are Loved

The "We Matter" campaign is sharing messages of hope and survival.

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This is Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers, Dené siblings from the Northwest Territories who want Indigenous youth to know that they matter.

The pair have launched the We Matter, a series of short videos in the style of the It Gets Better campaign."We want to convey to Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless and lonely things feel or seem, there’s always a way forward," Tunchai told BuzzFeed Canada.Growing up in a small northern community, Kelvin and Tunchai have seen that pain first hand. "We’ve lost cousins too early," said Kelvin. "In my mom’s home community, it’s the kind of thing where people can count on their fingers remembering the suicides from the last five to eight years."Suicide is the leading cause of death for Indigenous youth and six young people in Saskatchewan died by suicide in October alone.There are now more than 20 videos of Indigenous people — including youth and elders from all walks of life — sharing messages of hopes.This is what they want young people to know. Click the names beneath the images to hear their full stories.
We Matter Campaign

The pair have launched the We Matter, a series of short videos in the style of the It Gets Better campaign.

"We want to convey to Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless and lonely things feel or seem, there’s always a way forward," Tunchai told BuzzFeed Canada.

Growing up in a small northern community, Kelvin and Tunchai have seen that pain first hand.

"We’ve lost cousins too early," said Kelvin. "In my mom’s home community, it’s the kind of thing where people can count on their fingers remembering the suicides from the last five to eight years."

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Indigenous youth and six young people in Saskatchewan died by suicide in October alone.

There are now more than 20 videos of Indigenous people — including youth and elders from all walks of life — sharing messages of hopes.

This is what they want young people to know. Click the names beneath the images to hear their full stories.

1. Remember that even if you've come close to giving up, you didn't.

We Matter Campaign

Sydone Okheena, 17, Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories

2. Elders are rooting for you.

— Violet Beaulieu, residential school survivor, Deninu K'ue First Nation
We Matter Campaign

Violet Beaulieu, residential school survivor, Deninu K'ue First Nation

3. The members of A Tribe Called Red want you to know how important Indigenous youth are to them.

We Matter Campaign

Ian Campeau, aka Deejay NDN, Nipissing First Nation

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4. And that it's in you to succeed.

We Matter Campaign

Bear Witness, Cayuga First Nation

5. To Two-Spirited youth: Don’t hide, and don’t despair.

— Andre Morriseau, Director for Awards and Communications at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Fort William First Nation
We Matter Campaig

Andre Morriseau, Director for Awards and Communications at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Fort William First Nation

6. There are Indigenous people who have survived it all. And they are here for you.

We Matter Campaign

Angela Sterrit, CBC journalist, Gitxsan Nation

7. And there are other youth who understand.

We Matter Campaign

Tyra Hookimaw, Attawapiskat First Nation

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8. Don Burnstick was "close to be being another cross on the ground in my res," but he's still here.

We Matter Campaign

Don Burnstick, comedian, Alexander First Nation

9. You deserve to be here, and you can find healing through art and writing.

We Matter Campaign

Andrea Menard, Métis actress, singer, and writer

10. Even when things are tough, keep fighting.

— Wab Kinew, politician, writer, and journalist, Onigaming First Nation
We Matter Campaign

Wab Kinew, politician, writer, and journalist, Onigaming First Nation

11. Because hardships can make you stronger.

— Shawn Buckley, Métis fisherman, Northwest Territories
We Matter Campaign

Shawn Buckley, Métis fisherman, Northwest Territories

12. And you are so loved.

View this video on YouTube

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We Matter is encouraging others to submit videos, artwork, and writing to add to the collection. There's also plans to distribute USB sticks with the campaign to communities with poor internet access, starting with Saskatchewan.

"Our big goal is to get a USB stick into the hands of every kid in the province who doesn’t have strong internet," said Tunchai.

Visit the We Matter website for more videos and to submit your own. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can find help here.