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

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

City of Kelowna receives $100K provincial grant to support forestry workers

When the Kelowna Tolko mill shut down in November, 233 full-time employees were put out of work

$173K to support Okanagan seniors amid pandemic

United Way announces more funding for frontline programs

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Defence claims Surrey man was mentally unwell at time of West Kelowna murder

Tejwant Danjou’s jealousy ‘tormented him’, according to his defence lawyer

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Most Read