Inspiration was the goal and great music was the outcome as Siksika Health Services held its 17th annual Run As One Music Festival Thursday.
It was all part of its youth awareness week on Siksika Nation, which organizers say offers “a blend of arts, culture and health programming” — capping off with the music festival headlined by The Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red) and 2021 Polaris Prize nominee Zoon on International Youth Day.
“I would just like them to experience the music and I think it puts you in a place where you can feel safe,” said Zoon before taking the stage to promote his album Below The Waves, which he says speaks of his own healing journey.
The free event, which had a blend of COVID-19 safe pods and drive-in spots, also boasted a number of speakers, including Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme from Saskatchewan who offered some words and stories to the crowd.
“This is a moment to lift our youth up to places we know that they belong,” he said, adding he remembers being the youngest person in his council chambers after being elected.
The festival also heard from some local acts, many of whom also work in the community at the school or coaching basketball — striving to be role models who can show young people on their nation a creative path to help them steer clear of anxieties and darker influences.