Lola Thomas Purdaby, Lana Thomas, Selina Davis, Cece Thomas-Jules, Hannah Willis and Sasha Johnny, were all part of the group of girls who wrote the song Worthy. Not pictured: Angel Cameron, Jada Michel and Brooke Stensrud. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

B.C. First Nations youth ready to sing during International Women’s Day

Group requested to peform their song ‘Worthy’ during New Westminster event

The inspiring message penned by a group of B.C. First Nations youth singers will be getting another boost into the spotlight when they step onto the stage to perform during International Women’s Day celebrations in New Westminster.

Working with the N’We Jinan group, a music initiative founded by David Hodges and Joshua Iserhoff in 2014 to work with Indigenous youth and create music, these girls from First Nations communities in the Shuswap, near Salmon Arm, wrote their song Worthy in March 2018. The song is centred on issues of bullying, depression and a loss of self-worth, with the core message seeking to inspire listeners to stay strong in the face of adversity, be honest about their problems and seek the help of others.

(N’We Jinan/YouTube)

“I want people to listen to it and know they are not alone, they can get through and there is a brighter side,” Lana Thomas-Johnny said.

“You don’t have to hide in the shadows, you can bring things out in the open and talk about it with people, and trust people,” added Sasha Johnny.

Worthy was a hit both online and in the community, reaching over 600,000 views and prompting the girls to be asked to perform at the N’We Jinan album release party in Vancouver as well as Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues music festival and Fall Fair in 2018. Close to a year later, the girls are still incredibly proud of their song and the reception it has gotten.

Read More: Adams Lake Band youth singers star in song and music video

“Just knowing our song is out there helping other people, it’s a good feeling,” said Selina Davis.

“I feel proud because people know our message and we are showing people they should care about helping people,” added Lola Thomas-Purdaby.

The upcoming performance on International Women’s Day in New Westminster shows their song is steadily reaching a larger audience.

“I am glad the message is out there and helping other people. I am glad our video is moving to other towns helping other people get through it like we did,” said Sasha Johnny.

“I am just really glad we can see our song has helped some people, and they’re not just people we know and showed our video to, they’re from all over,” added Hannah Willis.

“I have read in the comments so many people saying we helped their daughter or niece. There is even a comment on there from an adult going through stuff and the song helped them. I was proud of that, it’s helping everyone,” said Cece Thomas-Jules.

Their introduction to making music through N’We Jinan and their song Worthy has also inspired some of the girls to continue making music of their own, writing song lyrics and taking an interest in creating beats.

Read More: In Photos: Day two at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival

Reflecting on their own experiences and seeing how others connected to the message in their song has served as inspiration to work harder at helping others.

“I see myself doing it more now. I see people I barely know like maybe posting in their Snapchat story that they are having a hard time, and they don’t really want to talk to anyone, but I try and let them see they can trust me and I can help if they need it,” Lola Thomas-Purdaby said. “I want them to be more than just okay.”

They take to to the stage in New Westminster during International Women’s Day celebrations on March 8.


@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Lola Thomas Purdaby, Lana Thomas, Selina Davis, Cece Thomas-Jules, Hannah Willis and Sasha Johnny, were all part of the group of girls who wrote the song Worthy. Not pictured: Angel Cameron, Jada Michel and Brooke Stensrud. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

New Facebook group seeks to promote Golden’s local businesses

Created just a few days ago, the group has been met positively by local businesses

Golden Wine Ninjas brings positivity – and wine – to community

The group was started by Jolene Wood on May 13 and has already amassed over 500 members

Washout closes Highway 95 between Golden and Radium

Highway 95 has now re-opened after a washout earlier this morning closed… Continue reading

Wildsight Golden prepares for GET WILD! summer camps

The day camps will limit enrollement to ten campers and will practice social distancing

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read