July 12, 2020

23° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Close this
Winnipeg Free Press



Young people showcase life at Ndinawe in documentary

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/11/2019 (234 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre has been a safe haven for North End youth since 1993.

Movie preview

Click to Expand

Welcome to Ndinawe
By Gabrielle Fiddler, George Harper, Vaz Shingoose, Matthew Boulette and Daniel Frazier
● Friday, 6:30 p.m.
● Sergeant Tommy Prince Place, 90 Sinclair St.
● Free admission
● For more information, visit winnipegarts.ca or ndinawe.ca.

Located at 472 Selkirk Ave., it’s a 24-7 space that offers connections to shelter, education and programs that teach young people new skills and how to express themselves. Friday night, it will be showcased in a new documentary series created by the youth of Ndinawe themselves.

Welcome to Ndinawe is a series of seven documentary-style episodes about life at Ndinawe created through the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Youth With Art community public art program. The film screens Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Sergeant Tommy Prince Place, 90 Sinclair St.

Youth With Art pairs artists with youth-focused community organizations with the intention of engaging young people in art. Through the program, youth learn the basics of an art form — like filmmaking — and skills such as public speaking and self-expression.

"We started by filming a ping-pong match," says Jim Agapito, a filmmaker and mentor who has been with the program for more than 10 years. "We storyboarded it first and then filmed it, and it snowballed from there."

"We started by filming a ping-pong match," says Jim Agapito.

"We started by filming a ping-pong match," says Jim Agapito.

Initially, Bernard Ferguson, Ndinawe’s art program co-ordinator, thought the partnership would turn out very differently.

The program was open to all youth at the centre, but a core group — consisting of Gabrielle Fiddler, George Harper, Matthew Boulette, Daniel Frazier and Vaz Shingoose — ultimately took the reins on the film, which focuses on issues such as housing and food.

"I was mainly behind the camera," Shingoose, 17, says. "I don’t mind being on camera either. I like doing both. But mainly I would love to show my art on camera."

Shingoose isn’t just a filmmaker — he also makes smudge bowls and cups out of clay. He’s given them as gifts to staff and people in the community.

"Ndinawe is really a staple in the community, and its something that many people have no idea about," Agapito says. "It’s awesome that the youth can share it with others in a film that they made themselves."

Agapito gave the youth full creative control of their project. He worked as a mentor and helped out in the editing room. He also got them involved on a smaller project: a music video on YouTube that already has been viewed 45,000 times.

"I have friends that play in a rock ’n’ roll band called Cancer Bats," Agapito says. "The youth shot their music video Brightest Days. They can barely believe how popular it is."

The taste of internet fame may be sweet, but Ferguson does his best to keep the Youth With Art priorities at the heart of the program.

"The idea behind it all is to empower the youth," Ferguson says. "We want to generate engagement and have them feel good about themselves."

"You really see the change in the youth and a need for these programs," says Agapito, who in 2007 worked as a mentor to Jamshaid Wahabi, the 23-year-old man who died after being shot at the Citizen Nightclub earlier this month.

"You never know which way some of these kids are going to go, but this program is about showing the youth that there are options out there. There are other things they can do," Agapito says.

"I used to be the worst kid here," Shingoose adds, "but that’s the old me. I’m way different now."

Bernard Ferguson (from left), Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre program co-ordinator; Vaz Shingoose, one of the youth who filmed Welcome to Ndinawe; and film mentor Jim Agapito. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Bernard Ferguson (from left), Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre program co-ordinator; Vaz Shingoose, one of the youth who filmed Welcome to Ndinawe; and film mentor Jim Agapito. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

Shingoose has also become a member of the Young Thunderbirds, a program that offers culturally competent mentorship to youth with behavioural difficulties. The programs have set Shingoose on a new path.

"They introduced me to Indigenous ceremonies," he says. "I’m working on going to a pipe ceremony to discover what my purpose in life is. I feel like I’m here to help people who are on drugs, help them see why they took that path and help them get off that path."

He’d also like to keep working in film and has plenty of ideas for his next project.

"I think we should have gotten more in the film about our sharing circles and the kinds of programs we have here at Ndinawe," Shingoose says.

Sounds like a sequel is in the works.


Twitter: @franceskoncan

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.


Updated on Friday, November 22, 2019 at 9:37 AM CST: Corrects that the youth shot the video for Brightest Days; clarifies that Jim Agapito also mentored youth on current project as well as helping edit the film

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.