We’re Still Here


We’re Still Here youth producers, facilitators, and community members gather for the first screening of We’re Still Here Season Three.

We’re Still Here is a youth media project by and for young people in the Waccamaw Siouan tribe, ages 13-21, in Columbus County, North Carolina. The project is a collaboration between the Waccamaw Siouan tribe, Community CPR, and Coastal Youth Media. We’re Still Here is in its third season as a podcast. This season, young people in the Waccamaw Siouan tribe worked over the year to create the series. Youth used song, dance, audio landscapes, and documentary to share their stories. Included in the third season was a 5-part spoken word and documentary episodic YouTube series exploring what We’re Still Here means to young people of the Falling Star. Our latest season culminated with a community screening held at the Waccamaw Siouan tribal grounds in Buckhead, North Carolina.

We’re Still Here was a community-media making collaboration from start to finish. Waccamaw Siouan leaders, past participants, artists, and trainers and facilitators from the Coastal Youth Media and Community CPR teams co-designed the interactive workshops. Darlene Graham led youth outreach in collaboration with past participants. In the workshop, tribal elder and poet Shirley Freeman was the poet-in-residence. Ms. Freeman performed her own poetry about Waccamaw Siouan history for the youth participants, instructed writing exercises, and coached participants as they wrote their own poems inspired by the We’re Still Here theme. Most participants were writing poetry for the first time. Artist Nadine Patrick of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe performed and led a discussion about what inspired her to write We’re Still Here – the song which inspired our Season Three. Coastal Youth leader trained and collaborated with participants in performing their final poetry pieces to camera. Participants concluded the workshop by collaborating to design the opening sequence of the series. The workshop’s resident dancers performed traditional fancy dance and jingle dress dance to bring viewers into their series.


Workshop participants collaborate with each other, Falling Star elders, spoken word artists, and professional media producers to create their spoken word episodes.

We’re Still Here

Episodic YouTube Series


Being Who You Are

by Rakyah Jacobs, Age 18, Buckhead, NC

Late nights, long nights, college nights

Being who you are

Waking up, going out, school

Being who you are

Jeans, shirt, shoes

Being who you are

Regalia, beadwork, feathers

Being who you are

We are still here

We are here as a whole

We are here as an individual

Being who you are


The Skin I’m In

By Sarah Greene, Age 13, Tabor City, NC

My light skin may throw you off

And yes, my blue eyes too

But my skin doesn’t make me who I am

It’s the culture I share with you

When I enter the arena you’re sure to see

That my culture is sure to show right through me

My regalia is sacred

And the arena, that’s true

But the most sacred thing of all

Is the culture I share with you

I Just Dance

By Arianna Burnett, Age 13, Wilmington, NC

I first remember dancing when I was five

I remember my cousin dancing with me

I didn’t understand the dance

I remember the weight of the dresses that I wear

I feel excitement as I dance

I try not to think

Like leaves in the wind

I just dance


By Chynna Patrick, Age 16, Bolton, NC

You are you

I am me

You are a person

I am a person

You’re one of a kind

I’m one of a kind

You’re nobody else

I’m nobody else

You’re your own person

I’m my own person

You have talents

I have talents

You have greatness

I have greatness

You have yourself and nobody else

I have myself and nobody else


We’re all connected

Pride and Confidence

By Isabella Jacobs, Age 13, Leland, NC

When you walk into the arena you have a feeling of pride and nervousness

When the beat starts you tell yourself just to breath

You got this

You dance your heart out

And when it ends you’re told how great you did and you’ll do better next time

And you’re grateful

But relieved it’s over

All you think about is what you did wrong

But you suck it up and tell yourself you did good and that makes you feel strong

And you remember you’re here to dance with and for your people

Practicing builds your confidence

And building your confidence builds your pride

I feel strong

I feel pride in who I am and what I do

I feel confident

And most of all I am who I am and that is me

I am proud of who am and who I was born to be

I am a member of the Falling Star

I Remember

By Aaliyah Patrick, Age 15, Bolton, NC

I remember helping others

I remember learning new things

I remember marching

I remember being different from others

I remember dancing

I am strong

I am beautiful

I am different

I am me

This project is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.