Youth Of Today Society's youth centre provides technology education and tools for expression.
Join our Shakat Clubs and publish your work in Shakat Journal!
Originally the Shākāt was the summer edition of the Dännzhà Magazine, a First Nations editorial containing stories and articles aimed primarily at tourists. The goal was to share First Nations culture and traditions with visitors and encourage interest and understanding. Though in its 12-year run it reached an impressive distribution of 30,000 copies, it was shut down in 1992 due to government budget cuts.
Now, the revitalized version of the magazine presents a millennial centred view and acts as a megaphone for all Yukon youth. It incorporates Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives and talents. The magazine will not only be printed in a biannual hard copy, but includes an online component with quarterly roll over.
Additionally, the Shākāt team is in talks with the Department of Education to incorporate the voices of youth throughout Yukon. Schools that partner with our program can teach students how to write articles, create works of art, take film or photographs, embrace social media and digital technology (supplemented by workshops provided by InnerVibe employees) and use it to increase awareness about their community and way of life. These “Shākāt Clubs” would then submit these products to us to be published in the Shākāt Journal.
The ultimate goal of this project is to provide the means for our young people to thrive. We believe that through art and media education we can help the high-risk Northern youth by giving them the tools to express themselves in healthy and productive ways. This will be done through the ongoing production of the Shākāt Journal. The young people working on the project receive relevant training that they will carry out into the rest of their lives. By sharing the stories written by young people from around the territory, the Journal will communicate the unique experiences they face. It will share aspects of Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures, which can ultimately result in understanding and respect. By breaking the cycle of hopelessness, unemployment and racism many youth face, Shākāt Journal will stand as the youth support Yukon needs.
Seeking to revive and re-imagine the Shākāt Journal, a publication originally produced by the Yukon Indian News, in the 1980s and 1990s, the Youth of Today Society (YOTS) has been working with a dedicated team of youth to create a publication by and for Millennials. This revitalization – now under the brand, Shākāt Media – seeks to make use of cutting-edge web, social media, television and radio/podcasting approaches to enable Millennials to gather and share the stories, voices, insights and perspectives important to them.
Shākāt Media's core objective is to provide a channel through which Millennials – across all demographics – can better connect with their cultures, communities and each other to restore their sense of self-esteem, belonging and hopes for a better future.
Shākāt Media intends to enhance the presence of Millennial voices in our community dialogue, with a view toward greater understanding and reconciliation. To foster the expression of these voices, Millennials will be provided safe and consistent access to positive role models, employment opportunities, media equipment and skills training.
Millennials across Yukon - especially Indigenous youth – continue to face many challenges, from homelessness, addictions, and low graduation rates, to racism, discrimination and other fall-out from the legacy of colonization and residential schools. Shākāt Media seeks to make a difference in their lives and the future by providing multi-media forums to express their voices while also learning new skills that can lead to a successful career in media, business or art. In this sense, Shākāt Media can play a significant role in ensuring that Millennials receive the support and guidance they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Shākāt Media is an opportunity for governments, organizations and the business sector to reach out to this fast- growing demographic through advertising. Given the use of 'new media' by Millennials, many have struggle to reach this audience. Shākāt Media will address this need by offering a unique advertising channel targeted directly to Millennials.
As a social media enterprise of the YOTS, Shākāt Media is guided by the following principles and values from the perspective of Millennials:
1) Expressing our voices, views and perspectives is a human right. Regardless of personal circumstances, we all deserve to be heard and be connected to each other in meaningful ways.
2) Cultural-relevance. We deserve a media landscape that reflects our unique values, traditions and culture, as people of the Yukon and Canada's North.
3) Fairness, dignity and mutual respect. We deserve programs, services and supports that are easy to understand and apply for, and where we are all treated fairly and consistently regardless of who we are or our economic status. We also have a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to feel safe and supported if we need to turn to our communities for help. This value is in keeping with the true spirit of truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Millennials.
4) Supports tailored to the individual. We are all different in our own unique way, and we are all at different stages of our journey. Shākāt Media believes in the importance of training, mentoring, encouragement and technical support to help Millennials learn the industry and can create the stories in a way that is meaningful to them.
The Shãkãt Journal was a special summer tourism edition that was entirely produced by local First Nations youth. This special journal was published for 11 years and shared the art, history and culture of Yukon’s First Nations people and consisted of longer editorial pieces that were researched and created by youth. It was one of the only self-sustaining publications operated by Ye Sa To Communications. The publication ran from 1980 to 1991 and was released once a year during the summer. Over the years circulation grew from 10,000 to 30,000.
When federal funding shifted Ye Sa To struggled from high overhead costs and was forced to shut its doors, taking with it the voices, reflections and opinions of our First Nations people. NEDAA TV also shut its doors in the early 2000s. Today only Northern Native Broadcasting’s Chon FM and APTN have a presence in the Yukon with some First Nations focused production from CBC radio such as the Gwitch’in Hour. While these organizations are recognized for sharing First Nations stories, perspectives and news, there is a notable lack of Youth voices in these publications.
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Youth Of Today Society
404C Ogilvie Street