Cree youths explore impact of solar project on community through film

A six-acre solar farm on the Ermineskin Cree Nation, south of Edmonton, is the backdrop of five short films created by Indigenous teenagers.

Twelve students from Ermineskin Junior High School explored the farm’s impact on their community through the eyes of five elders. 

Elias Burnstick, 15, and two classmates, told the story of Elder Ron Littlechild. 

“My favourite part was going to his house, talking with him and learning more about him,” Burnstick said. 

“Everybody has a story to tell. My story is just beginning, but people have stories that go on for years.” 

For Littlechild, sharing his story and the history of the Ermineskin Cree Nation was a way to connect with a younger generation. 

“I was a little leery at first,” he recalled with a laugh. “But I thought, I should go back and tell the story of this community and what we did in years past.”

The solar farm represents a bright economic future, he said, as well as a return to Indigenous roots. 

“We have used the sun in prior years and centuries; it keeps the people warm,” Littlechild said. “Now, we’re going to use the sun again to generate warmth for the people in this community and the surrounding area.” 

The short films were facilitated by Reel Youth, a Canadian production company that teaches the basics of filmmaking to young people interested in telling local stories.

To view the full original article by Josee St-Onge, click here: