Your Voice is Powerful program returns to help thousands of Canadian students learn to code

Press Release - Amazon Canada and TakingITGlobal are proud to launch the 2023 edition of Your Voice is Powerful, an educational program and remix contest that will teach middle and high school students to code using songs by Aboriginal artists.

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This computer-based program, which builds technology skills while promoting social justice, will return in 2023 with an enhanced curriculum for middle and high school students

Twin Flames joins First Nations artists Jayli Wolf, Dakota Bear and Samian on the Amazon Music lesson plan and playlist

Press Release - Amazon Canada and TakingITGlobal are proud to launch the 2023 edition of Your voice is powerful, an educational program and remix competition that will allow middle and high school students to learn to code using songs by Aboriginal artists.

After exciting more than 5,000 students in its first year, Your Voice is Powerful has expanded for 2023: the program now features new songs by Twin Flames artists, in addition to an enhanced curriculum that leverages music and technology to foster social justice.

Your voice is powerful is a leading initiative developed by Amazon Future Engineer Canadaa program focused on computer and STEM education that aims to enable all youth to explore their potential.

According to a 2020 report by the Conference Board of Canada and the Centre for Future Skills, less than 2 % of those working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are Aboriginal.

"At Amazon, we are committed to ensuring that children and young adults learn new skills that will open additional doors for them," said Cynthia Caglar, director of Amazon Future Engineer Canada. "Your Voice is Powerful introduces students and teachers to coding, while showing them how music and computer science can be used to advance social justice. Our goal is to help more young people, especially those from underrepresented groups, discover a passion that could translate into long-term academic and professional opportunities."

"Your Voice is Powerful exceeded all of our expectations in 2022, as thousands of students and teachers across Canada demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for the opportunity to combine a unique educational and technological experience with the chance to reflect on Aboriginal and Canadian history," explained Christine M'lot, the Anishinabe educator who led the writing of the program for TakingITGlobal. "Our goal for 2023 is to enrich the program with new stories, experiences and songs from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists to bring new participants into the program, while providing opportunities for previous groups to continue to develop their skills and discover the potential of computer science for future education and careers."

The Your Voice is Powerful curriculum is offered free of charge to teachers, students in grades 7e at the 12e and CEGEP students. Developed by TakingITGlobal, it is the result of a year of close collaboration, hundreds of hours of consultation and review. The Cloud Innovation Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a public-private partnership between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and UBC, reached out to Aboriginal experts, students and graduates, as well as UBC faculty members.

The Your Voice is Powerful lesson plan consists of eight modules, which teach the basics of coding while engaging students in conversations about the experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada, including residential schools, the 1960's roundup and the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Students will remix songs by Aboriginal artists Jayli Wolf, Dakota Bear, Samian and Twin Flames using EarSketch, a free online code editor available in English, French, Ojibwe and Inuktitut. All participants will be invited to submit their remixes to a contest in which two winners - one Aboriginal and one identifying as an ally - will receive a $5,000 (Canadian) grant from Amazon.

Your Voice is Powerful" playlist on Amazon Music

Amazon Music subscribers in Canada can listen to an exclusive playlist called "Your Voice is Powerful" featuring songs from artists such as Twin Flames, Jayli Wolf, Dakota Bear and Samian, as well as many other artists featured in the program. The musical pieces address themes of perseverance and determination, tracing fundamental moments in the history of music over a period of more than thirty years.


"It is an honour to have our music included in the Your Voice is Powerful program. By educating youth about the different perspectives that make up the Aboriginal experience in Canada, the program shares our goal of using music to bridge cultures and understand history. Your Voice is Powerful is an opportunity to learn important skills while reflecting on poignant stories. We wish all learners a wonderful learning experience." - Chelsey June, Twin Flames

"I am very excited to be a part of Your Voice is Powerful for another year. Bridging the gaps that prevent Native peoples from fully engaging in the STEM economy is critical. The program provides a springboard for Native youth by offering a learning opportunity rooted in a creative process: coding with music." - Jayli Wolf

"The UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC, supported by AWS, aims to work on projects that generate tangible benefits for society. Better representation of Aboriginal students in the coding professions is one of those benefits, and it is very encouraging to see it happen. We have already received requests for best practices that need to be put in place to adapt the curriculum for other Aboriginal groups in various regions." - Marianne Schroeder, Director of the Cloud Innovation Centre, University of British Columbia

In addition: Already published on École branchée: Remixing songs by Aboriginal artists to learn to code

Bilingual trailer of the project

SOURCE: Amazon Canada

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