Amazon Canada and TakingITGlobal are launching Your Voice is Power, a new school curriculum program and music remix competition that teaches coding skills using music from Indigenous artists.
The initiative aims to reach more than 1,000 students, and the program is open to schools in all provinces and territories.
All participants will be encouraged to submit their remixes to a competition in which two winners – one Indigenous, one identifying as an ally – will receive $5,000 scholarships, donated by Amazon Music. The curriculum is available at no cost to teachers and students in grades seven through 12.
Your Voice is Power leverages music and technology as vehicles to promote social justice while encouraging junior and high school students from diverse backgrounds to discover computer science, one of Canada’s fastest-growing academic and career fields.
“At Amazon, we are committed to empowering children and young adults to learn new skills that will give them more opportunities,” said Susan Ibach, Head of Amazon Future Engineer Canada. “Your Voice is Power gives students and teachers an introduction to coding while demonstrating how music and computer science can be tools to advance social justice.”
The Your Voice is Power lesson plan features eight modules that teach the basics of coding while engaging students in discussions on the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis experience in Canada, including topics like Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
Students will remix music from Indigenous artists Jayli Wolf, Dakota Bear, and Samian using EarSketch, a free online code editor that will be available in English, French, Ojibwe, and Inuktitut.
“We’ve brought together the powerful music of First Nations artists while giving an opportunity to thousands of students to build their coding skills as they challenge themselves to submit their own original beats. We can’t wait to hear what they create,” said Anishinaabe educator Christine M’lot, who led curriculum development on behalf of TakingITGlobal.