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

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network provides info for local businesses

Local retailers and restaurants are eager to get back to business in a way that’s safe.

Chilliwack mayor urges locals to shop local as stores open doors

Restaurants and retail are among the businesses allowed to re-open as B.C. heads into phase two.

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read