“There is real pride here. A real movement is being created, being expressed through young Aboriginals. To be a part of it was a real gift.”View Transcript
My name is Sonia Basile-Martel. I came in fifth in the 2011 art competition for my entry Se souvenir pour ne pas oublier Nikokom [Remembering to not forget Nikokom].
What I learned from participating in the competition was to trust in myself, to follow my ideas, and most of all, to share them. I really felt welcome in this process. I also felt supported in my thought process, in my way of expressing myself, in the pride I have for where I am from and in my desire to speak of my family, because in this entry, I was speaking of my grandmother, of my relationship with her. So, for me this was a real gift, being able to share it with everyone who would see what I had created.
I believe it is personal, that it is something I will carry within me. It allowed me to come into the world. I really felt it was a rebirth for me. It was the step I needed to take before diving completely into my art. It gave me a greater desire to express myself more, to enter competitions like this one again and again.
There is real pride here. A real movement is being created, being expressed through young Aboriginals. To be a part of it was a real gift. What I have come away with is a real sense of pride and the voice we can give ourselves through art and any other means of expression. It is such a rewarding place for me and what a great way of making our place in the world.
When I think of my personal experience, what I would say to others is that they should not be afraid of trying, to jump in, to not be afraid of leaving their mark because there is always someone out there who will be able to receive it, who will find resonance with their experiences, their own identity. I think this is a good way for young Aboriginals to become strong, to affirm themselves and to be proud of everything they do and everything they have yet to accomplish.