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New Light Under the Surface is the world’s first and only therapeutic underwater photography program. This program serves youth ages 12-17 living at Northwest Passage, an intensive residential mental health treatment center. The program is an extension of InaNew Light, an internationally recognized therapeutic nature photography program.

New Light Under the Surface operates in partnership with the National Park Service and Dr. Toben LaFrancois of Northland College.

Video by Bobby Nash and Alaina Myers.

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“In the maze of life it’s easy to get lost . . . but what if he takes a different path?”

A film by Northwest Passage
Animation by Meredith Nelson
Story by the Fall 2014 In a New Light intern team:
Meredith Nelson
Abi Leveille
Amanda Xiong
Olivia Wenner
Music by Michael Uselmann
Project supervised by Ben Thwaits

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Northwest Passage utilizes the EAGALA method of equine-assisted therapy and has an EAGALA-certified therapist on staff to work with all residential programs.

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For many, parks are places to find great opportunities for recreational, educational, and social activities. For some, parks are places where they can reflect, think, heal, and learn about themselves. The National Park Service encourages everyone to Find Your Park. Your park may provide just the right space to find yourself.

This video was created collaboratively by St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, and Northwest Passage, a non-profit mental health treatment organization for children, and produced by visiting interns Narud Obando and Andres Tencio, students at CEDES Don Bosco in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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Two graduates of Northwest Passage embarked on a photography expedition to Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park. Their mission was to photograph the double life of neotropical migratory birds, which journey between the Upper Midwest and Central America every spring and fall. The young photographers returned with new perspectives of these birds’ journeys as well as their own.

Filmed by Ben Thwaits and edited by Corey Gipperich, this video was made possible through the support of: Tropical Wings National Park Service, Rotary International, SINAC, and the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

This video highlights the following PassageWay elements:



Northwest Passage’s Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program offers youth who are struggling with mental health issues the opportunity for impactful artistic creation alongside world-class artists. Channeling the passion and insight of artistic mentors is one of the most efficient and effective means of providing transformative experiences for vulnerable youth, helping to redefine their potential, gain therapeutic personal insight, and instill a new sense of personal value and hope that carries with them throughout their lives.

During their time with Northwest Passage, the artists live, teach, and create art at Schaefer Cabin, a historic, beautiful, and secluded cabin on the Namekagon River in Burnett County. Schaefer Cabin has recently been fully restored to serve as a therapeutic artistic retreat through a partnership with the National Park Service. The artists lead workshops with Northwest Passage residents and create works of art that are displayed at the Northwest Passage Gallery in Webster, WI.

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Watch as the kids of Northwest Passage bring the Jordan Buck to life and enjoy some fun at the Webster, WI July 4th parade.

The Jordan Buck costume was created in partnership with Chris Lutter, one of Northwest Passage’s Artists-in-Residence. The costume was modeled after the deer shot in 1914 by James Jordan along the Yellow River in Danbury. The Jordan Buck measured 206 ⅛ inches under the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system and was recognized in 1978 as the world record typical whitetail by the club. It held the top spot, arguably the most coveted big game trophy in the world, until 1993. The costume requires two people to bring it to life, one in the head and one in the rear.

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