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Mikw Chiyâm Program

This program promotes art literacy and appreciation by inviting professional artists and teachers to help students discover their creativity. 

Imagine a classroom where everyone learns together in a positive learning space shared by artists, teachers, and community members? Where creative initiatives flourish!

About the program

Mikw Chiyâm is designed to increase students’ interest and attachment to school by providing an alternative space for creative learning. Students are introduced to a variety of artists and will explore themes such as storytelling, expressing personal and collective voice, and spreading personal messages on a larger scale to create effective and meaningful artistic productions.

Program Goals

Sense of belonging - create a sharing environment of relationality where all participants feel safe, accepted, and respected for their ideas and creativity.

Inspire agency - youth explore their individual and collective voice, challenging social barriers and fears to cultivate action/change.

Celebration - honor youth in consistent and genuine ways to recognize their learning journey and their passion, courage, and creative expression.

Creative literacy & life skills training - place-based learning and hands-on experience in a variety of artistic disciplines, nurturing leadership, creativity, and life skills in and beyond the classroom.

Resilience building - youth gain a sense of self-awareness and innate potential through mentoring, modeling, and self- paced learning where they are encouraged to embrace failure, overcome frustration, and acknowledge their successes.

Nurturing retention - peer and mentorship networks support students throughout the year as they commit to challenging projects, develop accountability, and reinvest their learning to stimulate attachment to, and continued interest in, school.

How does Mikw Chiyâm work?

When to apply

Students are invited to apply for the Mikw Chiyâm program before they graduate from Grade 6. 

How to apply

Students are asked to fill in an application and bring it back to their teacher. 

I'm in! Now what?

Congratulations! You are embarking on an exciting journey! 

What is an Artist-in-Residence?

The Cree School Board works with an outside company, inPath, to coordinate artist placements in our schools. The artists are trained to work in our schools and have experience with First Nations youth. An increasing number of our artists are from Eeyou Istchee. 

Most schools have six artists-in-residence during a given school year.

An artist-in-residence is paid to create art alongside the students so that students can learn by modeling the creative process of a more developed artist. 

Who is my teacher?

You have a Cree School Board teacher for Mikw Chiyâm, just like you would have for any other class. Your teacher will work closely with the artist-in-residence to help you learn and to evaluate your progress.

Will I have a chance to show my art?

The program culminates at the end of each residency with a showcase where students and artists-in-residence will have the opportunity to share their work with their immediate community.