Wapikoni Mobile

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Non-profit organization
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Manon Barbeau, Council of the Atikamekw Nation and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network

Wapikoni Mobile is a non-profit organization based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was founded in 2004 by filmmaker Manon Barbeau along with the Council of the Atikamekw Nation and the Youth Council First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (currently known as First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network).[1] The organization provides mentorship and training in audiovisual creation to Indigenous youth mostly in Canada in the hopes of creating jobs and educational opportunities, countering high rates of suicide, drop-out and addiction.[2][3][4] It hosts educational workshops and film screenings to raise awareness and educate the wider public about Indigenous cultures, issues and rights.[5] As of 2014, Wapikoni Mobile has produced over 900 short films and 450 recordings giving a voice to over 4 000 Indigenous youth. Participants have won 140 awards and honours from national and international Human Rights organizations and film festivals.[6]


In the early 2000s, filmmaker Manon Barbeau shot a feature-length film with 15 Atikamekw youths from the Wemotaci community in Quebec.[7][8] Wapikoni is named after one of Barbeau’s collaborators on the project, a young woman named Wapikoni Awashish, who died in a car crash at the age of 20.[9] In 2004, Barbeau launched the first of the mobile studios that the organization operates today.[10]

Each mobile studio is an RV equipped with an editing station, a small sound studio, a projection and screening area, desktops with Final Cut Pro, and HD cameras and microphones to film with.[11] The organization has been credited with providing Aboriginal youth an outlet for expressing themselves, as well as the tools and skills to do so.[12][13]

At each stop, a group of participants is welcomed by mentor-filmmakers, youth workers, local assistant-trainers and a local coordinator.[14][15] The month-long workshops focus on documentary filmmaking and musical recording, offering participants training in writing and directing, along with other behind the scenes work such as filming, sound recording, and editing.[16][17]

As of 2012, Wapikoni has two permanent studios: one each in the Kitcisakik and the Wemotaci First Nations communities.[18] In 2014, it hosted an international symposium with the goal of creating RICAA (Réseau International de Création Audiovisuelle Autochtone), a network of Aboriginal production companies.[19][20][21][22]

A notable participant from the project’s inaugural year was Samian, an Algonquin rapper from Pikogan in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, who is now a Wapikoni spokesperson.[23][24] Other Wapikoni participants have gone on to work at Telefilm Canada as well as the CBC.[25]

The National Film Board of Canada was a founding partner.[26]



  1. ^ http://www.fnyouthnetwork.com/
  2. ^ http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/327648/cinema-ottawa-porte-un-coup-aux-jeunes-createurs-autochtones
  3. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/innovative-approach
  4. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/mission-values-and-objectives
  5. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/a-propos/services-offerts/ateliers-de-decouverte-et-de-sensibilisation
  6. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/wapikoni-in-brief
  7. ^ http://www.informactionfilms.com/fr/realisateurs/manon-barbeau.php
  8. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/history
  9. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/history
  10. ^ http://gestion.evalorix.com/cas/leadership-et-comportement-organisationnel/manon-barbeau-le-lien-lautre/
  11. ^ http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montreal+Diary+Wapikoni+mobile+offers+creative+outlet/7455199/story.html
  12. ^ http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montreal+Diary+Wapikoni+mobile+offers+creative+outlet/7455199/story.html
  13. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/Content/documents/Revuedepresse/The_Gazette_SOSWapikoni_26_juillet_2011.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/team/our-field-team
  15. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/innovative-approach
  16. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/wapikoni-in-brief
  17. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/who-are-we/innovative-approach
  18. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/Content/documents/Revuedepresse/The%20Gazette_20121028.pdf
  19. ^ http://cdc-ccd.org/Symposium-international-sur-la?lang=en
  20. ^ http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/cinema/421196/le-festival-du-nouveau-cinema-souligne-le-10e-anniversaire-de-wapikoni-mobile
  21. ^ http://www.pressegauche.org/spip.php?article18324
  22. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/actualites/nouvelles/quand-le-cinema-cree-des-ponts
  23. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/about/team/our-spokesperson
  24. ^ http://www.wapikoni.ca/Content/documents/Revuedepresse/TheGazette_Samian_20110505.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/327648/cinema-ottawa-porte-un-coup-aux-jeunes-createurs-autochtones
  26. ^ "Wapikoni Mobile: 10 years of mediation and intervention through audiovisual creation". Canada News Wire. Retrieved 2017-05-16.

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