Youth4Music’s Indigenous Initiative Ngamwag Shkinweg is an initiative focused on inspiring Indigenous youth, elevating youth leadership, and connecting Indigenous youth from communities of all kinds, on reserve, and off reserve, through the power of music. Music in Indigenous culture is more than an art. It is a part of our way of life. Music is a part of our celebrations, our grieving, our teachings, and our communication. It is a medicine. Music is a part of our ceremony, and our healing. Through music, we connect. All drums, beating together, and all voices, signing as one. In music, we unite. In music, we reclaim. We ask Indigenous youth, “what does music mean to you?” “What music would you like to create in your community?” “What kind of music classes or workshops would you like to see offered in your community?”. We connect Indigenous youth to support each other, support positive change on their reserves and off-reserve, and support the music education Indigenous youth deserve.


Strong as a Nation

We are strong as a nation. Through research and exploration, “Strong As A Nation” is meant to bring First Nations, Metis, and Inuit musicians’ and their music to the forefront on a national scale while also continuing to strengthen and create advocacy for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit issues surrounding music and music education for youth and children. Through this indigenous lens, we will share research, talents, and the stories of the places and people that meet us along this journey of coming together, as a nation.

Continuing to strengthen our relations as many nations under one sky, the second instalment in the Youth4Music video series “Strong As A Nation” furthers the focus on the relationship of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit musicians and their music. With a focus on youth, this instalment explores the relationship between traditional musicians, and how they preserve, continue to grow, and fuse the culture in many ways to revolutionize while also staying respectful of the culture.


Cole Forrest is an Ojibwe artist and spoken word poet based out of Nipissing First Nation in North Bay, Ontario. He strives to bring his understanding and compassion for arts to a level that is perpetual. By always seeking new horizons and pushing to be the best he can be, Cole is forever learning new techniques to hone his craft. A high school student of Chippewa Secondary School, he is involved with most art extra curricular activities, namely with both orchestral bands and theatrics. Cole has worked with Aanmitaagzi for several years on projects such as “Dances of Resistance”, “Ice Follies”, “Beneath Us”, and “Aanmitaagzi Summer Arts Program”. Cole has appeared in the short film “O-Getche Tahk”, and a stage performance of “Designer Genes”. Cole is the current Artistic co-coordinator of the Black Water Art Collective based out of the White Water Gallery in downtown North Bay. Cole is the current “Overall Artist of the Year” at his high school, and is proficient in dance, acting, music, and most notably, writing.