|Founded at||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Manon Barbeau, Council of the Atikamekw Nation and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network|
|12 (60 contract workers)|
Wapikoni Mobile is a non-profit organization based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that hosts educational workshops and film screenings to raise awareness and educate the wider public about Indigenous cultures, issues and rights.
Each year, an average of 300 youth participate in the workshops creating 50 short films and 30 musical recordings.
Wapikoni Mobile visited over 29 Indigenous nations in Canada and abroad (including Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Panama, and Finland). The program has produced over 1000 short films and 600 music recordings giving a voice to over 4 000 Indigenous youth.
In the early 2000s, filmmaker Manon Barbeau shot a feature-length film with 15 Atikamekw youths from the Wemotaci community in Quebec. Wapikoni is named after one of Barbeau’s collaborators on the project, a young woman named Wapikoni Awashish, a young Cree woman who died in a car crash at the age of 20. At the time of her death, Awashish was filming a feature-length film titled "La fin du mapris".
In 2004 during the Montreal First Peoples Festival, filmmaker Barbeau along with the Council of the Atikamekw Nation and the Youth Council First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (currently known as First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network) founded Wapikoni Mobile and launched the first of the mobile studios that the organization operates today. The National Film Board of Canada was also a founding partner.
A notable participant from the project’s inaugural year was Samian, an Algonquin rapper from Pikogan in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, who is now a Wapikoni spokesperson and organizes fundraising concerts for the organization. Other Wapikoni participants have gone on to work at Telefilm Canada as well as the CBC.
In 2011, lost nearly half a million dollars in operating grants from Service Canada. Thanks to a grant from Health Canada's suicide prevention strategy, the organization was able to visit Algonquin territory in October 2011. In 2012, Wapikoni Mobile received a three year $520,000 grant from the McConnell Foundation.
As of 2012, Wapikoni has two permanent studios: one each in the Kitcisakik and the Wemotaci First Nations communities. In 2014, it hosted an international symposium with the goal of creating RICAA (Réseau International de Création Audiovisuelle Autochtone), a network of Aboriginal production companies.
Wapikoni Mobile employs a dozen people in it's offices and 60 contractual field workers (a third are Aboriginal).
The organization provides mentorship and training in audiovisual creation to Indigenous youth mostly in Canada in the hopes of creating jobs and educational opportunities, countering high rates of suicide, drop-out and addiction.
Participants accompanied by two filmmaker-mentor, an Indigenous assistant filmmaker-mentor, a local youth outreach worker, and a coordinator from the community. Youth are trained on technical aspects of film making with professional equipment. The month-long workshops focus on documentary film making and musical recording, offering participants training in writing and directing, along with other behind the scenes work such as filming, sound recording, and editing.
Each mobile studio is an RV equipped with an editing station, a small sound studio, a projection and screening area, desktops with Final Cut Pro, and HD cameras and microphones to film with. The organization has been credited with providing Aboriginal youth an outlet for expressing themselves, as well as the tools and skills to do so.
The films are screened in their communities of origin and often go on to be screened more widely to non-Aboriginal audiences.
Awards and recognition
- Participants have won 152 awards and honours from national and international Human Rights organizations and film festivals.
- 28th Grand Prize of the Montreal Council of Arts, film category
- 2011, Rights and Freedoms Prize, the Honorable Mention Award at Plural +
- 2014, Intercultural Innovation Award from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
- 2017, finalist for the 2017 Global Pluralism Award.
- A selection of short films from Wapikoni Mobile 2017 is available on the National Film Board site
- Interview with Manon Barbeau, Mi'kmaq filmmaker Raymond Caplin and filmmaking mentor Alexandra Guité
- "Ateliers de médiation et de sensibilisation - Wapikoni mobile". www.wapikoni.ca.
- "Wapikoni Mobile | Art for Social Change". icasc.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Wapikoni Mobile becomes official UNESCO partner". News Wire. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Reconciliation on Film: Wapikoni Mobile". Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- Amanda Perreault (2018-08-08). "NetNewsLedger - Wapikoni Mobile Trailer prepares Indigenous youth with empowerment and direction". NetNewsLedger. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "InformAction - manon-barbeau". www.informactionfilms.com.
- "History - Wapikoni mobile". www.wapikoni.ca.
- "Wapikoni Mobile: 10 years of mediation and intervention through audiovisual creation". Canada News Wire. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- Péloquin, André. "Samian / Wapikoni mobile : L'allégorie de la hache". Voir.ca (in French). Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Cinéma - Ottawa porte un coup aux jeunes créateurs autochtones". Le Devoir.
- Mar 03, CBC News · Posted:; March 11, 2012 3:08 PM ET | Last Updated:; 2012. "Wapikoni Mobile goes to Lac-Simon, Que. | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-02-01.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Wapikoni Mobile". McConnell Foundation. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Le Festival du nouveau cinéma souligne le 10e anniversaire de Wapikoni mobile". Le Devoir.
- gauche !, Presse-toi à. "Quand le cinéma crée des ponts - Premier symposium international du Wapikoni mobile - Presse-toi à gauche !". www.pressegauche.org.
- "Innovative approach - Wapikoni mobile". www.wapikoni.ca.
- mobile, Wapikoni. "Wapikoni's 2018 Season Begins". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Wapikoni in short - Wapikoni mobile". www.wapikoni.ca.
- Beeston, Laura. "Montreal Diary: Wapikoni mobile offers a creative outlet". www.montrealgazette.com.
- "Weekly Indigenous Film Series: A series of short films by Wapikoni Mobile". Faculty of Education. Retrieved 2019-02-01.