November 21, 2022: We Matter is a digital place that brings messages of hope and strength for Indigenous youth to support each other through hard times.

We Matter is an Indigenous youth-led and nationally registered organization dedicated to Indigenous youth support, hope and life promotion. Their work started with the We Matter Campaign – a national multi-media campaign in which Indigenous role models, youth, and community members from across Canada submit short videos, written and artistic messages sharing their own experiences of overcoming hardships, and communicating with Indigenous youth that no matter how hopeless life can feel, there is always a way forward. We Matter takes action to improve Indigenous well-being and capacity to make a change. This week in the mentoring circle,  we explore a digital place where people across the country share messages of hope and positivity reminding us that We Matter!

Suicide rates for Indigenous youth are several times higher than that of other Canadians, as well as rates for challenges like addiction, abuse, and school dropouts. This doesn’t have to be the case. We Matter has the mission to communicate to Indigenous youth that they matter, and create spaces of support for those going through a hard time while fostering unity and resiliency. They are an Indigenous organization that doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about suicide and mental health. By sharing Indigenous stories, words of encouragement, and authentic messages of hope and strength, We Matter encourages Indigenous youth to not give up during tough times. In the following video, A Tribe Called Red shares a message to Indigenous youth as a part of the We Matter Campaign.

We Matter connects Indigenous youth with positive messages of hope, culture, strength, healing, mental health and life promotion. They gather, connect, and amplify Indigenous voices and stories by creating a digital space to celebrate and honour the experiences of Indigenous youth. They build Indigenous youth capacity in schools and communities by helping to implement Indigenous youth-led initiatives and enabling peer-to-peer support. We Matter wants Indigenous youth to know that they carry their own strengths and knowledge to draw upon during difficult times. Being Indigenous is AWESOME and something to be proud of! In the video below, Mi’kmaw lawyer Dr. Pamela D. Palmater shares how she was once confused and troubled about finding her purpose in life and overcoming anger and frustration until she embraced who she was and it led her to success!

Join Indigenous youth across the nation taking the #HopePact! The We Matter #HopePact is a pact that Indigenous youth across Canada can choose to take, uniting them in a national movement. It is a reminder that you are never alone in what you are feeling or experiencing. By taking the #HopePact, you can feel like you are a part of something bigger than what you are experiencing. There are many struggles that young people deal with, whether it’s bullying, addiction, depression or suicide. Sometimes when we experience hard times, we feel like we are alone and that things are not going to get better for us. However, this is not true! We are never alone, we all experience struggles, and we all have the strength to overcome them. We are all connected! By uniting as Indigenous youth in the name of hope, we break negative cycles and become so much #StrongerTogether.

We believe Indigenous youth are healers and changemakers, and with the right support and resources, can be the ones to inspire and uplift other Indigenous youth and their communities! We Matter’s National Ambassadors of Hope is a mentorship program supporting Indigenous youth to connect, uplift, inspire, and make change. Ambassadors of Hope are Indigenous youth ages 16-26 who share messages of hope, culture and strength within their own community and surrounding region. With support from the We Matter team, they deliver presentations on hardship, hope, and healing across schools and communities. They live by example in order to inspire and connect with other Indigenous youth, break mental health and suicide stigma, and promote healthy communities. Meet the current Ambassadors of Hope and learn how to become one or invite one to do a presentation in your community or school!

We Matter creates and distributes materials and resources designed to encourage and support Indigenous youth and those who work with them. Their toolkits support teachers, educators, and school staff use the We Matter resources to talk about hope, healing, and mental health with Indigenous youth. The Toolkit can be used in a group or class setting. All you need to do is download a copy of the We Matter Teacher Toolkit, and watch the videos together with youth – they guide you step by step! This Toolkit will help you use the We Matter videos to talk with Indigenous youth about things like sadness, loss, or mental health – in a safe way. Use their digital forum alongside the Toolkit to share other videos of inspiration depending on the context of your lesson. This video will give you a quick introduction to what the Toolkit is all about.

We Matter offers mental health tool kits for communities, holds mentorship training for Indigenous youth and hands out grants to young people for projects to improve their communities. They also share messages of hope, culture and strength through art and storytelling. Explore the We Matter gallery full of art created by young Indigenous artists and the We Matter blog full of stories to find creative writing by Indigenous young people. You can even submit your own! It’s super easy and your story or message can help others. This can be done by creating a video, artwork (painting, drawing, comic), or written message (poem, rap, short story). Your message can reach someone else who needs to hear it, and when you choose to share your voice, others are encouraged to do the same. If you have your own artwork or stories, simply upload your art or story and We Matter will share it on their website and social media! Below listen to “You Matter” – a spoken word poem by the co-founder of We Matter, Tunchai Redvers.