What follows is the official press release from our pals at Canadian Content Studios about “Wela’lin” (Thank You) Music Video
Vaccine hesitancy is a known issue in rural Nova Scotia along with many areas across Canada. This Spring three Indigenous musicians from Esaksoni, Wekoqmaq and Wagmatcook were given funding from the Nova Scotia Government to create a song about hope and healing in the wake of COVID-19 to help promote a message of vaccine confidence among young adults. Musicians Emma Stevens, SHiFT From Tha 902 (Todd Googoo) and Morgan Toney along with Keith Mullins wrote and performed “Wela’lin” which means ‘Thank You’ in Mi’kmaq. Inuit Director Stephanie Joline brought “Wela’lin” to life showcasing the beauty of community and the passion behind spreading hope and information to protect the people we love, as we work towards a safer future.
About the Team:
Stephanie Joline is an Indigenous filmmaker based in Halifax/Kjipuktuk, Nova Scotia/ Mi’kma’ki. Her Indigenous roots come from her mother who is Inuit from Labrador, her father is French Acadian from the South shore of Nova Scotia/Mi’kma’ki.
Stephanie’s work provokes conversation, breaks boundaries, and is deeply rooted in inclusivity and feminism. Some of her credits include NIGHT BLOOMS (2021), a gritty coming-of-age story set in the 1990s; STREAM ME (2021), about an Indigenous teen who immerses herself in online gaming; and the documentary PLAY YOUR GENDER (2016), about gender bias in the music industry.
In 2020 she was awarded the Irving Avrich Award from TIFF recognizing rising Canadian talent. Stephanie has also made several short films, and created music videos for Nicole Ariana, Nathan Wiley, and Gabrielle Papillon among others. Find Stephanie Online at stephaniejoline.com
SHiFT From Tha 902 / Todd Googoo
SHiFT FROM THA 902 an up-and-coming hip hop artist with a hard raw style-driven flow. His distinctive voice and honest lyrics draw inspiration from his youth growing up in Wekoqmaq First Nation, a small reservation in Cape Breton Island.
Inspired by 90’s hip hop and current hip hop music, it’s hard to put him in a box. His style is always expanding and changing, and if you’re lucky enough to catch him live, will know he’s a young seasoned veteran Emcee that earned his place in the Atlantic Canada Hip hop Scene and beyond.
In 2020 SHiFT was featured on CBC’s ‘Story and a Song’ series where he performed “Hometown and Family & Friends” to a live studio audience. SHiFT also debuted his first national television performance for APTN’s Indigenous Day Live: Winter Solstice.
SHiFT is not afraid to tackle the issues that deeply impact his community including that generational trauma, poverty, depression, addiction, sexual abuse, and suicide – the things that too many Indigenous people face each day. Fine Todd on Facebook @shiftfromtha902
Morgan Toney (21) is a Mi’kmaq Singer-Songwriter/Fiddler from Wagmatcook First Nation. He only has been playing the fiddle for three years, but after finding his sound, he started to combine his Mi’kmaq roots and his love of Cape Breton Celtic tunes in the creation of this fresh new genre they call“Mi’kmaltic.
Morgan’s notable music includes his single ‘Kojua’ and the piece he wrote and performed for CBC called ‘Alasutamaqn’. Morgan along with Producer Keith Mullins will soon be releasing his debut album and is currently working on a showcase for the International Indigenous Summit. Find Morgan on Facebook here.
Emma Stevens (18) has been singing and performing for most of her life but became a recording artist with the release of “My Unama’ki”, a song in celebration of her indigenous heritage and her love for her home, Cape Breton Island (Unama’ki).
Recently, to help bring awareness to the United Nations observance: The International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), Emma recorded Paul McCartney’s poignant song “Blackbird,” in her native language, Mi’kmaq. ( A language with less than 10,000 living native speakers.)
Since its release, “Blackbird” and its accompanying music video, have garnered considerable international media attention that has helped bring awareness to efforts to revitalize endangered indigenous languages around the world.
In May of 2019, Emma was invited to perform at the Inaugural International Assembly of the Habitat division of the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya for more than 1000 leaders and policymakers from around the world. Emma recently was invited to perform at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Emma will be releasing a new original song honouring the Red Dress Movement. For more on Emma click here.
Canadian Content Studios
Canadian Content Studios is owned by Sylvia Beirnes and Jonathan Torrens.
Canadian Content Studios works to create meaningful content with voices that deserve to be heard. CCS is proud to have worked with the Nova Scotia Government and this talented group of musicians and filmmakers on Wela’lin. Other CCS projects include Lead With Love, Who Do You Think I Am?, Your Two Cents and Nova Scotia Remembers: A Loving Tribute to Those We Lost. For more info visit canadiancontentstudios.com