Climate Matters is a multi-phased production and outreach initiative that uses digital media and geo-mapping to prompt dialogue about climate justice within schools, communities and larger public institutions.
The first phase (2015) was about making climate-focused films. This part of the program saw 24 young people from 6 different BC communities (primarily rural, under-resourced, and Indigenous) being mentored by local media artists to create digital stories that focus on matters of local ecological significance and concern.
The next phase was about getting the videos out there through youth developed and facilitated workshops, and Standing-Ground.ca, an interactive web-map that showcases stories of climate-based resistance and renewal, and enables users to see all of the Climate Matters videos and other stories of environmental struggle and stewardship, ‘in context’. The story markers indicate where the featured videos were made, while the ‘industrial markers’ map out adjacent resource development initiatives (which help to establish why they were made). From mining projects and pipelines to hydro and oil and gas development, these clickable markers begin to tell the story of how actual and proposed resource development is impacting local communities around the province.
Both of these outreach activities support young people in learning about current resource extraction practices, local resistance to them, and the role art and media can play in encouraging us to reflect upon the impacts fossil fuel dependence is having on our collective future.
The Word from Participants + Mentors
Climate Matters’ reflects an understanding of the connections between culture, language and the land, and is providing vital knowledge transfer to new generations of leaders, who will then apply the learning they receive to create high impact stories that are important to them. It’s been an honour to have such an amazing opportunity to work with young people who genuinely care about protecting our precious environment. My perspective as an Indigenous storyteller truly aligns with AMES and the intentions of this project.
Cowboy Smithx – Blackfoot Filmmaker/ Climate Matters Mentor
As someone who has felt alienated by the environmental movement historically, I wanted to help create spaces for young people to begin to explore what climate justice means, and I believe AMES plays an important role in making this a reality.
Kelsey Sparrow- Climate Matters Participant + Facilitator
I deeply believe that we need to empower young people in general and specifically Indigenous youth with the media-based skills to draw public attention to and have a dialogue about the social and environmental impacts of current practices. Throughout the years AMES has continually lifted up the voices of youth and strengthened the capacity of youth leadership in communities across BC…this program offers timely and critical programming.
Melina Laboucan-Massimo – Lubicon Cree First Nation Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada