IMP Labs 55 Parallel Northern Workshop Tour
IMP Labs 55 Parallel North Saskatchewan Hip Hop Project - In 2009 I began a partnership with the Culture and Community Development Program of the Northern Saskatchewan Sport, Culture and Recreation District. Through our collaboration I developed a hip hop project that took the IMP Labs into many northern communities to collaborate with and mentor Indigenous youth. After traveling to the North on these tours, I invited youth leaders from these communities to come to week-long mentorship training workshops held at the IMP Labs at the University of Regina. The aim of the program was to assist with the development and sustainability of hip hop programming in remote communities by teaching young leaders how to mentor through the hip hop elements (music, dance, arts, politics, and athleticism). Through the leadership program I made important connections between the youth living in these northern communities and post-secondary education at the University of Regina. More significantly, along with my IMP Labs’ research team, we attempted to strategize with the community leaders and youth on how to sustain these programs, rather than engaging in one-off programming. Working collaboratively with the communities on these kinds of programs and sustainability initiatives is key to ongoing success.