Gabriel Yahyahkeekoot1.jpgGabriel Yahyahkeekoot is a video artist/poet, and a member of the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation. Much of and still calls home. His early work highlights the frustrations and challenges of being a young Aboriginal in Canada in an urban setting, exposing the stereotypes and perceptions this country has towards “urban indians”. He has acted or worked on the Canadian television shows, Moccasin Flats, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Corner Gas as well as commercials for SGI, Casino Regina and SaskTel/SaskPower. Gabriel's independent work has shown in numerous galleries across Canada, now devoted to Arts Education promoting 'wellness' through the arts, working primarily with First Nations youth in both Regina and Treaty 4 territory.

1. What are you studying and year in the program (if you’re a student)?

I am an artist and community research associate in the 2nd year with IPHRC.

2. What is your role at IPHRC?

I deliver and facilitate art programs to First Nations youth in both rural Saskatchewan and urban (Regina) Saskatchewan. Identity and self-awareness are what is explored through the art, and the hope with that, will come a stronger sense of self and where one fits in the world.

3. What are you learning in your time at IPHRC? 

Learning to work with a great team. Also learned there are other ways and ideas to do a great job. Working with other like-minded individuals is also very encouraging and opens the door to new possibilities. I like to think my methods always have the potential to evolve.

4. What are your career goals? 

To expand this idea to other First Nations communities across Saskatchewan, Canada and the U.S. that this is positive. The cliché that it takes a village to raise a child is so true, so the idea that we are all in this together, we all want our young people strong and confident, and so it’s something I hold onto. These are our future leaders and the community partnerships are evidence of that shared hope. In some cases, these are my cousins, nieces and nephews so it’s special when they find success, and important for us to celebrate those successes. What better goal is there?

5. Anything else you would like to add?

The potential is boundless. Many of our youth had no idea the talent they had, so it’s important to keep providing opportunities to our young people. How can we know what we love, without a chance to try? 

For more information about Gabriel's work at IPHRC, please contact: 

Jeanelle Mandes
IPHRC Research Assistant - KT & Communications
(306) 337-2437