Three posters were chosen in an art contest held in April 2020 for Indigenous youth in B.C., encouraging them to express their feelings about COVID-19. This image contains an error, as Myka Friesen is 17 years old. (Submitted images)

VIDEO: Chilliwack youth earn top prizes in COVID-19 art contest

Contest was open to all Indigenous youth in the province

Two Chilliwack youth have have won the top prizes in an art and video contest through a Fraser Valley aboriginal child welfare agency.

In April, Xyólheméylh put a call out to all Indigenous children and youth in the province to create either posters or a video to describe their feelings about social distancing and COVID-19.

Emma-Lee Kelly and Myka Friesen both earned top place in their chosen categories.

Kelly, 11, is from Soowahlie First Nation near Cultus Lake. The youth plays a ukulele in her video, which is complete with subtitles for singing along. In addition to singing, songwriting, and playing the ukulele, she also plays the piano and guitar. The judges chose her song, Six Feet Away, about the importance of physical distancing, and have also posted it and two others on their YouTube channel.

Bella Fitzgerald, 13, and Nikita Hance, 11, tied for second place, and their videos are available on the same YouTube channel.

“We organized the contest to connect with children and youth who may be feeling a myriad of emotions during this strange time and to provide them with an outlet to express their feelings,” said Kyla Darby, executive director of programs at Xyólheméylh. “The entries showed a lot of creativity, heart and talent.”

READ MORE: Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

For the poster category, the winners were Myka Friesen, 17, in first place, Jada Michel, 18, in second place, and Cora McIntyre, 15, earning third.

Friesen also lives in Chilliwack.

Darby says many of the entries expressed unique concerns about the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.In particular, concerns about the safety of elders who carry First Nations history and teachings was a common theme.

The winners were chosen by a panel consisting of the members of the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society board of directors and Elders Advisory Committee.

“We received many artistic, creative and thoughtful entries and it was a real challenge to pick a top three,” said Marion Mussell, president of the board. “To our young artists thank you for sharing your work and please keep sharing your excellent artistry. The Board is honoured to have been part of this and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to all who participated and our congratulations to the prize winners,” T

The winners received cash prizes and their art will be displayed in Xyólheméylh’s offices.

READ MORE: Contest calls on B.C. families to share ‘kitchen hack’ for chance at winning $1,000


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Permanent fish-passage solutions consdiered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

Chilliwack Community Services ends Community Driver program

The volunteer-driven offering helped clients get to important medical appointments

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Chilliwack River Road just north of Promontory will see partial road closure

The northbound lane of Chilliwack River Road will be closed Sept. 29 and Sept. 30

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Most Read