COVID-19 Youth Campaign releases part 6
News from CSKT
PABLO — As an artist, the goal is to create something people want to hear. These six Mission Valley performers knocked it out of the park. When the community called upon their musical talents, they poured their hearts out. Six artists created original songs to ask listeners to take the COVID threat seriously and protect our community. The response has been powerful. Now, all six have joined forces for the next release.
Shadow Devereaux, aka Foreshadow, said “The experience I’ve had working with the COVID awareness campaign has truly been a blessing. From having my first video go viral to being interviewed by local news, the ride has been pretty wild and such a humbling experience. I feel like the more I do for my people the more organic the feedback will be. The sky is the limit.”
The trio called the Pete Sisters (Sisi, Siliye and Susseli) said “This project induced many feelings. It was fun, stressful and also sad at times. As a family, we are serious about the impacts of COVID and are aware it has taken many indigenous lives. We wanted our song to be meaningful and to give out good feelings but still reflect the seriousness of our situation.”
They continued, “Including many people, mostly essential workers, making them the highlight, was important to us because that is where our hearts are. As Sqelixw/indigenous people, we care about each other and have a deep sense of community. It felt so good to see all of their faces and to tell them, ‘We want you in our video, we are proud of the work you are doing.’”
Driven by concerns that young people may not be responding to COVID-19 prevention guidelines, a committee of tribal leaders formed to discuss strategies that might raise the awareness among teens that they have the power to protect their elders. What emerged was an innovative social media campaign aimed at the ages of 12 to 18.
The campaign featured local artists including Kiid Truth, Foreshadow, Yvng Vin and the Pete Sisters who have all released original songs and videos that have drawn national attention. The Chief Cliff singers, who have sung for their tribal nation, also added their voices. The first three artists utilized more contemporary styles to get their message across, and the fourth release, by the Pete Sisters, draws heavily from their traditional Salish teachings.
Vincent Bird-Webster, aka Yvng vin, (pronounced Young Vin) said, “It has been amazing to be a part of something so positive for our reservation. It is a blessing to be able represent for my tribe. It’s always nice to receive love and support from my people on the ‘rez.’ It’s been an honor to make this song with incredible artists, Shadow, RezBoi and the Pete sisters. I just really want to thank everyone who’s helped in the process and everyone who is rocking with the movement. This is only the beginning.”
Artie Mendoza III, aka KiidTruth, from the Mission Valley, was the first artist. He quickly learned the impact of this work. “I’ve always had that bring-back-to-my-community mentality, and this COVID awareness campaign opened up my eyes," he said. "We as artists have a huge impact on our community. I was oblivious of the power until we dropped these tracks for the campaign. I plan on using my talents to uplift and motivate my people, as well as telling our story as Native Americans. Huge thank you to everyone who contributed and put their time and effort in.”