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Announcing: Elements 4 Life

Elements for Life Flyer

Elements for life: reconnecting our roots through hip hop. FREE for youth 13-29. Vocalism, food, lyric writing, canvas painting, 3 day workshop, b-boy/b-girl dance. Facilitated by Jayrobi. AVNU. Summer 2014, 8 Communities across Ontario. Visit AVNU.ca to learn more.

Elements 4 Life

Our goal is to empower the youth by helping them take control of their aspirations by showing them the resources at their fingertips and how to use them.

We are both First Nations and we have been working in youth programming in Toronto and many other indigenous communities across Ontario for some time. We’re joining AVNU to facilitate youth access, engagement and programming within eight communities across Ontario. The project will consist of youth engagement activities, arts-based educational workshops and basic community asset mapping. The visits will be focused around identifying the strengths and interests of the youth participants. A Native Hip-Hop Artist and Youth Facilitator with share a series of Life Skills Lesson plans using Medicine Wheel type of framework and grassroots approach to help youth find their voice. The workshops will be relevant to the group demographic of each community in order to lay the foundation for future collaboration and resource sharing. We hope to spend 4 days in each community (Barrie, Aamjiwnaang, Oshweken, Dokis, Rama, Saugeen, Walpole Island and Curve Lake).

Image of two of AVNU's new teammembers Jeff and Jared. Jeff to the left is smiling with short black hair and a neat grey button up short-sleeved shirt. Jared is photographed against a colourful wall with a smile, short hair a black t-shirt saying "support your loval zulu" and a medicine wheel chain
About Jeff and Jay Robi

Jeffrey Kiyoshk Ross [left]

An educator, activist, and writer, who has worked with First Nations across Canada. He now splits his time between teaching and learning Ojibway in the Northern community of Pikangikum and living in Toronto. Jeffrey was raised in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Canada to attend university, where he majored in both Native Studies and English Literature. He is of Ojibway and St. Vincentian roots, and walks the fine line where his work and his beliefs are governed by the dynamics of both Anishinaabek and West Indian traditions and histories. “Empowerment is about showing a person what they have and then teaching them how to utilize it. It’s also about the connections we make and bringing them all together.”

 JAY ROBI AKA STRATEGY [right] 

Hello, my birth right name is Jared Robillard.
As an artist I go by “B-boy JayRobi” (dancer name) and “Strategy”(MC name).
I’m Dene’. A Father. A B-boy. An Emcee. A Film Maker. A Youth Worker. A Social Activist.

I am from Stony Rapids Dene’ First Nations but predominantly grew up Saskatoon, SK. It was tough being Indigenous in an urban environment up until I was introduced to “Hip-Hop”. After 14 years, I became a student of the culture and use it as a tool for healing and a voice for my people living in oppression. I’ve also learned to integrate my native background into the art forms. I now live in Toronto as a Hip-Hop Artist and Youth Worker and in many other communities across Ontario. I have a 2 year old daughter named Jayanna Brielle Robillard. I worked as a Peer Outreach worker at Native Youth Resouse Centre and still currently a performer/facilitator with Reztore Pride to spread awareness on Diabetes. I have an MC group called “IndaGenius” representing that conscious Native Hip-Hop flavor. We’re currently working on “The Elementals” mixtape and an LP soon to drop this summer/fall in 2014.

Knowledge. Wisdom. Overstanding. Peace. Love. Unity. Having Fun.

Mahci Cho/HiyHiy/Chi-Miigwetch/Niaweh/Thank You

If you have any questions about Elements 4 Life email info@avnu.ca

AVNU is a collaborative partnership between 9 community organizations: Artreach Toronto, Grassroots Youth Collaborative, For Youth Initiative, Manifesto, Neighbourhood Arts Network, Nia Centre, Schools Without Borders, SKETCH, and Toronto Youth Cabinet.