Lines and Rhymes: Khast’an and Kimmortal at the Omineca Arts Centre

On September 26th, over 30 youth from northern BC and interested community members attended a night of performances dedicated to imagining healthy environments and communities in northern BC.
Before the evening performances, Filipino youth from Prince George joined in an arts and music workshop led by Kimmortal. Appreciated by local Filipinx as a “rare opportunity for youth in the community,” the participants were encouraged to use rhymes, writing, and drawings to express themselves and their stories as young Filipinos growing up on the unceded and traditional territories of the Lheidli T’enneh peoples.
To begin the performances, Lheidli T’enneh Elder Kenora Stewart welcomed the youth to the territory and shared invaluable perspectives on the need for clean air and water to ensure healthy environments and communities, highlighting the stress that current resource extractive practices have on lands and on our bodies. The Khast’an Drummers, a group of Lheidli T’enneh members and friends, then performed. Through the beat of the drum and with a unified voice Khast’an discussed how water is a source of life, the importance and longevity of Indigenous legal systems in northern BC, and healthy relationships with non-human living beings. Queer Filipinx hip-hop artist Kimmortal, who is based on Coast Salish territories, shared an incredibly powerful and dynamic set. Kimmortal covered topics from mental health to consent and gender-determination and to working together while being on Indigenous territories and learning ancestral ties of how we came to be in place. The evening was rich with food donated from the 3610 Sari-Sari Store in Prince George and the Filipino-Canadian Association of Prince George, with over 10 volunteers and the youth coming together to help make the event possible. The evening was generously supported by the Health Arts Research Centre and part of the larger ‘Inheritors of the Future’ research project based at UNBC.