Let me find my talkSo I can teach you about me

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Rita Joe National Song Project

In her autobiography, Rita Joe challenges indigenous youth to find their voices, share their stories, and celebrate their talents.

Inspired by this idea, we asked the teachers and students in five communities across Canada to create a song based on what “I Lost My Talk” means to them and their community.

With the help of their teachers and guest artists, each group of young people is sending a professional audio recording and a music video of their song to the NAC to be showcased in tandem with the January 2016 premiere of composer John Estacio’s new work, “Spirit Prevails,” based on Rita Joe’s poem.

Rita Joe National Song Project

In her autobiography, Rita Joe challenges indigenous youth to find their voices, share their stories, and celebrate their talents.

Inspired by this idea, we asked the teachers and students in five communities across Canada to create a song based on what “I Lost My Talk” means to them and their community.

With the help of their teachers and guest artists, each group of young people is sending a professional audio recording and a music video of their song to the NAC to be showcased in tandem with the January 2016 premiere of composer John Estacio’s new work, “Spirit Prevails,” based on Rita Joe’s poem.

I Lost My Talk
by Rita Joe

I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.

You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
The scrambled ballad, about my word.

Two ways I talk
Both ways I say,
Your way is more powerful.

So gently I offer my hand and ask,
Let me find my talk
So I can teach you about me.

It was the perfect jumping off point and inspired tremendous creativity in the students hearts and minds. The non-linear poem created a pathway into some deep and personal histories because at the core of Aboriginal people, we always return to that circular way of thinking. 

Andrea Menard, guest teaching artist, Edmonton
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