The Newcomer girls group was facilitated by Dr. Marnina Gonick, Mount Saint Vincent University and Jennifer Bethune, Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax NS during the spring of 2012. The researchers partnered with the YWCA and the YMCA Newcomers Programme, Ten girls ages 13-15 participated. All participants were immigrants or from immigrant families.
Discussions with the girls included critical media literacy, concepts of structural violence and inequality. The girls made poster collage responses to critical literacy, individual digital narratives using aspects of the feminist methodology of collective biography. The themes of the narratives included: islamophobia, sexism in the family, bullying, being different. Some were personal stories, others were more philosophical statements.
The digital narratives were launched at a public gathering that included staff from the YWCA, some parents and siblings, and other youth who attend the YMCA programme. The girls each introduced their narratives. Each participant received a certificate for participating, an honorarium and a copy of their narrative.
Photo gallery of the group:
Our group is based on traditional Mi'kmaq territory and meets weekly in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, NS). Our group is comprised of Mi'kmaq women and women from other Indigenous Nations living here in Mi'kmaq territory. The focus of our group sexualized violence and empowering women's voices on this subject matter through arts-based forms of expression. We are working on a video. We also encourage and support each other in matters related to everyday life as our group members are juggling post-secondary education, work, motherhood and family life while contributing to the project.
The nature of our discussions touches on a wide range topics, from our every day lived realities to shared history and the impacts of colonization on traditional and contemporary Indigenous realities. Our group brings together a wonderful group of strong Indigenous women each week and we are building a strong foundation for our project.