“Your Voice Is Power” Merges Coding and History to Make a Difference

Students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board recently took part in the “Your Voice is Power” Hackathons, where they developed coding and music skills while learning about Indigenous histories. The program teaches them about the history of Hip-Hop, introduces them to Indigenous role models, and encourages them to reflect on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

The education charity TakingITGlobal delivers the program with support from Amazon Future Engineer and the CanCode program. The program was designed by Indigenous educators in collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s Cloud Innovation Centre.

They spent a day developing their coding skills and were treated to a performance by award-winning Indigenous musicians Twin Flames. Twin Flames has been celebrated internationally and builds bridges across cultures, continents, and styles. The duo has accumulated 41 music awards and nominations in just seven years. The pair includes Chelsey June, an OCSB graduate (Algonquin, Métis, Cree + Settler) and Jaaji (Inuk from Nunavik and Mohawk from Kahnawake). They write songs delivered through a mix of different languages.

The national winners of the 2023 contest will be recognized during an event at Sacred Heart High School. Students can learn more and enter this year’s contest for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship at www.yourvoiceispower.ca.

The new Grade 10 ICD2O (Digital Technology and Innovations in the Changing World) course aligns perfectly with the Your Voice Is Power program. Talks are scheduled with the Ministry of Education to explore potential synergies between the course and program.

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