Lola Thomas Purdaby, Lana Thomas, Selina Davis, Cece Thomas-Jules, Hannah Willis and Sasha Johnny, were all part of the group of girls who wrote the song Worthy. Not pictured: Angel Cameron, Jada Michel and Brooke Stensrud. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

B.C. First Nations youth ready to sing during International Women’s Day

Group requested to peform their song ‘Worthy’ during New Westminster event

The inspiring message penned by a group of B.C. First Nations youth singers will be getting another boost into the spotlight when they step onto the stage to perform during International Women’s Day celebrations in New Westminster.

Working with the N’We Jinan group, a music initiative founded by David Hodges and Joshua Iserhoff in 2014 to work with Indigenous youth and create music, these girls from First Nations communities in the Shuswap, near Salmon Arm, wrote their song Worthy in March 2018. The song is centred on issues of bullying, depression and a loss of self-worth, with the core message seeking to inspire listeners to stay strong in the face of adversity, be honest about their problems and seek the help of others.

(N’We Jinan/YouTube)

“I want people to listen to it and know they are not alone, they can get through and there is a brighter side,” Lana Thomas-Johnny said.

“You don’t have to hide in the shadows, you can bring things out in the open and talk about it with people, and trust people,” added Sasha Johnny.

Worthy was a hit both online and in the community, reaching over 600,000 views and prompting the girls to be asked to perform at the N’We Jinan album release party in Vancouver as well as Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues music festival and Fall Fair in 2018. Close to a year later, the girls are still incredibly proud of their song and the reception it has gotten.

Read More: Adams Lake Band youth singers star in song and music video

“Just knowing our song is out there helping other people, it’s a good feeling,” said Selina Davis.

“I feel proud because people know our message and we are showing people they should care about helping people,” added Lola Thomas-Purdaby.

The upcoming performance on International Women’s Day in New Westminster shows their song is steadily reaching a larger audience.

“I am glad the message is out there and helping other people. I am glad our video is moving to other towns helping other people get through it like we did,” said Sasha Johnny.

“I am just really glad we can see our song has helped some people, and they’re not just people we know and showed our video to, they’re from all over,” added Hannah Willis.

“I have read in the comments so many people saying we helped their daughter or niece. There is even a comment on there from an adult going through stuff and the song helped them. I was proud of that, it’s helping everyone,” said Cece Thomas-Jules.

Their introduction to making music through N’We Jinan and their song Worthy has also inspired some of the girls to continue making music of their own, writing song lyrics and taking an interest in creating beats.

Read More: In Photos: Day two at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival

Reflecting on their own experiences and seeing how others connected to the message in their song has served as inspiration to work harder at helping others.

“I see myself doing it more now. I see people I barely know like maybe posting in their Snapchat story that they are having a hard time, and they don’t really want to talk to anyone, but I try and let them see they can trust me and I can help if they need it,” Lola Thomas-Purdaby said. “I want them to be more than just okay.”

They take to to the stage in New Westminster during International Women’s Day celebrations on March 8.


@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Lola Thomas Purdaby, Lana Thomas, Selina Davis, Cece Thomas-Jules, Hannah Willis and Sasha Johnny, were all part of the group of girls who wrote the song Worthy. Not pictured: Angel Cameron, Jada Michel and Brooke Stensrud. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Prime Minister Trudeau comes campaigning in Nanaimo

A day after announcing a May 6 byelection date for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Justin Trudeau visits city

Ladysmith mayor considered running federally, decided against it

Aaron Stone filed papers with Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP to be vetted as a candidate

Regional District of Nanaimo adds up its assets, all $382 million worth

Regional district completes first asset management review

Trudeau to campaign in Nanaimo today

Prime minister to support Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate Michelle Corfield

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Overnight camping in parks a fire risk

I have great concerns around allowing homeless persons to camp in city parks, says letter writer

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

15 Nanaimo athletes chosen basketball all-stars

Vancouver Island Classic announces this year’s rosters

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Most Read