A New Lens on Life: The CBC Award-Winning Documentary
Youth in northern Saskatchewan discover healing through photography—a powerful tool for expressing emotions, overcoming trauma, and fostering connection. CBC captures their inspiring journeys, showcasing the profound impact of this innovative therapeutic approach on their mental well-being.
How Photography Saved Lives in Pinehouse Lake, Saskatchewan Skylar Lariviere faced despair in the vast forests of northern Saskatchewan, contemplating ending her life. But she found hope and purpose through therapeutic photography, which transformed her perspective. She dropped her weapon, ran towards life, and sought help.
In Pinehouse Lake, a community grappling with high youth suicide rates, the Pinehouse Photography Club, founded by primary care nurse Dre Erwin, emerged as a beacon of healing. Photography offered a creative outlet that not only captured the Northern Lights but also ignited a sense of wonder and purpose among its members. As they captured the beauty of Pinehouse through their lenses, they found solace and a way to cope with depression, addiction, and the challenges of remote living. This powerful transformation through therapeutic photography inspired others to follow suit. Teens like Louis Iron discovered the healing power of the camera, using it to navigate the darkness and find light in their lives. As Pinehouse's photography community blossomed, it became clear that this approach was more than a hobby—it was a lifeline. Photography became a bridge to self-esteem and self-worth, allowing these young individuals to communicate their feelings and experiences without words.
As Pinehouse's story unfolded, the Pinehouse Photography Club received recognition and grants, setting up a studio space and inspiring similar initiatives nationwide. Today, Pinehouse's photographers continue to capture the beauty of the Northern Lights and their community. Their journey from darkness to light serves as a testament to the transformative power of photography and resilience in the face of adversity.
This is the story of hope, healing, and belief—a story that reminds us all that, no matter how low we feel, we can always rise to the top.
But the story doesn't end here. The Pinehouse Photography Club is on a mission to extend these opportunities to all Métis and First Nations youth, especially those in the northern and rural parts of the country. Their vision is to offer the same lifeline of creativity, healing, and hope to those who need it most, ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a brighter future.
Learn more about the aware winning documentary here.
Learn about the Pinehouse Photography Club here, that uses therapeutic photography in Pinehouse Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Learn about therapeutic photography here.