Children from Colville Lake have taken the lyrics to the 12 Days of Christmas and given them a Sahtu twist.
Janaya McCallum, who moved to the 130-person community in September, brought with her a range of donated instruments from southern Canada.
Though the NWT’s fall Covid-19 outbreak delayed her plan to introduce Colville Lake youth to the instruments, she was still able to help them rewrite the 12 Days of Christmas and record a video in time for the holidays.
“Because of Covid, we couldn’t run any extra-curricular stuff, but eventually a new youth centre opened up,” McCallum told Cabin Radio. “I took advantage of that and started a weekly jam night.”
She challenged the children to amend the song so that it reflected Christmas in Colville Lake.
“They immediately rattled off their own ideas,” she said. “We spent the night writing them down and it took about a week to record their voices, record the music, and the video.”
Colville Lake was one of the communities worst hit by the initial wave of Covid-19’s Delta variant that reached the territory in August. More than half of the community reported being infected.
“They’re some of the most resilient people I’ve ever met – the kids, too,” said McCallum.
“It’s been a joy, especially to spend time with the kids and see their determination to have fun.”