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Unreserved

CBC Podcasts & Radio On-Demand

Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous voices – our cousins, our aunties, our elders, our heroes. Rosanna Deerchild guides us on the path to better understand our shared story. Together, we learn and unlearn, laugh and become gentler in all our relations.

Location:

Canada, ON

Description:

Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous voices – our cousins, our aunties, our elders, our heroes. Rosanna Deerchild guides us on the path to better understand our shared story. Together, we learn and unlearn, laugh and become gentler in all our relations.

Twitter:

@cbcradio

Language:

English


Episodes

Phyllis Webstad and her orange shirt

9/29/2023
It's Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. September 30th is a day to talk about the effects of Residential Schools; about the trauma that continues to ripple across Turtle Island. It’s a day that honors the experiences of Indigenous survivors, celebrates our resilience and affirms a now familiar phrase: every child matters. It started with an orange shirt. Taken from a little girl in residential school. Every year on September 30 that little girl tells her story. Phyllis Webstad was 6 years old when she was forced to leave her Secwpemc community - Canoe Creek Indian Band - and attend St. Joseph's Mission, near Williams Lake, BC. For the occasion, her grandmother bought her a new orange shirt. But it was taken away from her when she arrived at the school. Phyllis has been sharing the story of her orange shirt for ten years now. She’s written several books about it, including her latest called, Every Child Matters. St. Joseph's Mission operated for nearly a hundred years. It closed in 1981 but many children never returned home. Since St. Joseph’s closed there have been two separate investigations using ground-penetrating radar. One-hundred-fifty-nine potential burial sites were detected on the school grounds. On September 5th of this year, Williams Lake First Nation purchased the site. Chief Willie Sellars of Williams Lake First Nations says they want to ensure the integrity of investigations into children who disappeared while attending the school.

Duration:00:45:30

Music That Carries Truth

9/29/2023
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for Canadians to listen to the wisdom coming from Indigenous communities: to learn and unlearn our shared story. Music is a powerful way to share it. Music That Carries Truth was recorded live at CBC Manitoba Studio 11 and features music and conversation with Nadia and Jason Burnstick (Burnstick) and Sebastian Gaskin. It’s folk music that brims with the kind of chemistry that could only come from a husband and wife. Nadia, a Francophone-Métis singer-songwriter, and Jason, a Plains-Cree guitarist, are award-winning duo: Burnstick. Two performers whose voices and musicality blend together with ease. They share songs from their album KÎYÂNAW, Cree for Us and the inspiration behind their music. Plus, they debut a new single: Made of Sin is a powerful response to the 215 graves of children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School at Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc in BC. Sebastian Gaskin is a multi-instrumentalist R&B Singer-Songwriter from Tataskweyak Cree Nation (Split Lake). Sebastian writes and self produces music that is anything but formulaic, thanks to eclectic musical tastes in R&B, Hip Hop, Metal,and Punk. Their first EP - Contradictions was released in 2019 and they were recently signed to Indigenous owned record label Ishkōdé Records. The last generation to attend Residential school in their family, Sebastian shares songs and tells us how music saved their life.

Duration:00:54:09

Coming Home

9/22/2023
This week, we learn how history, culture and science can all play a role in bringing people home. For decades, policies like the Sixties Scoop saw thousands of children fostered or adopted out to non-Indigenous families. Now, thanks to DNA detectives, resilience research and mapping projects Indigenous adoptees are finding their way home. You might remember Dean Lerat from last season. He’s an RCMP officer by day and DNA Detective by night. Dean helps people in his community find the families they were separated from by using their DNA. We catch up with Dean at Cowessess First Nation pow wow where he is still busy reuniting families. That's where Rachael Lerat comes in. No relation to Dean but thanks to his detective work she has found her way here. Rachael came to Cowessess First Nation to reconnect with her mom’s side of the family, but also to seek out new connections to her biological father. That journey brought her somewhere completely unexpected! Listen to find out why. Colleen Hele-Cardinal hopes to lead Sixties Scoop adoptees back to their families, communities and themselves by literally drawing a map. As the co-founder of the Sixties Scoop Network, she created an online interactive map so adoptees can upload and share their stories. And she has her own story to tell: Colleen and her two sisters were taken 2000 kilometers away from Edmonton, Alberta to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario as part of the Sixties Scoop. Since reconnecting with her biological family, she now knows she is from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Amy Bombay researches the impacts of residential school and how trauma gets passed down from generation to generation. She was a guest on Unreserved eight years ago. She’s back to tell us what her research reveals about something else passed from generation to generation: resilience.

Duration:00:46:17

Cafe Daughter: The Honourable Dr. Lillian Dyck

9/14/2023
Cafè Daughter is a movie inspired by the life of a little girl with a secret that would drive her passion for science, advocacy, and ultimately lead her back home. At 78 years old the Honourable Dr. Lillian Eva Dyck is a former Canadian Senator, a highly respected neuroscientist, and a champion of Indigenous rights. Born in 1945 to a Chinese father and a Cree mother, Lillian grew up in small-town Saskatchewan working at her family's cafè. As a residential school survivor, her mother Eva was taught to be ashamed of her Cree identity and encouraged her children to keep that part of who they were hidden. Lillian’s life inspired first a play, and in October, a feature film called Cafè Daughter. The film is an adaptation of a play of the same name, by Cree playwright Kenneth T. WIlliams. Both Lillian and Kenneth are members of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan and Kenneth says it was a fateful encounter with the former senator that sparked his creative flame. Mohawk filmmaker and director Shelley Niro was immediately drawn to the story because it reflected much of her own experiences. The same thing happened to Keith Lock, one of the first Chinese-Canadian filmmakers in Canada. He has been involved with Cafè Daughter since its early development as a play.

Duration:00:54:09

Search the Landfill

9/8/2023
This week, a powerful season opener featuring a daughter leading a resistance with a call to Search The Landfill. Cambria Harris is the daughter of Morgan Harris, one of four Indigenous women who Winnipeg police say was murdered by the same man. Morgan is believed to be buried in the Prairie Green Landfill, along with a second woman Marcedes Myron. Police were led to a serial killer after the remains of Rebecca Contois were discovered in a city garbage bin and at the Brady Landfill. The remains of a fourth woman - named by the community as Buffalo Woman - is still unknown. Listen, as Cambria invites us into her home. She shares personal memories of her mother who “always made time for us,” despite a system that kept them apart and why, at only 22 she is leading the call to bring all of these women home. Come gather around the sacred fire burning at Camp Marcedes in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hear why demonstrators from across Turtle Island are organizing now around the issue of MMIWG2S+ and calling on authorities to search a Winnipeg landfill. Firekeeper, Goldstar, welcomes us to the sacred fire at Camp Marcedes and explains why he keeps the flame burning. Jorden Myran says she is at the camp for her sister, Marcedes Myran, whose “bright smile could light up a room.” And Helper, Danielle Pelletier who lost a cousin to violence, supports, educates and comforts those who come to fire. Please take care while listening to this episode.

Duration:00:54:08

Star people

6/23/2023
Nicole Mann and NASA made history this past October when Mann became the first Indigenous woman in space. A member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Nicole rocketed into orbit 20 years after Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington became the first Indigenous person in space. She spent 157 days on the International Space Station as the mission commander and conducted research and experiments to prepare for explorations to the moon and Mars. Wilfred Buck is a star Knowledge Keeper from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and he’s on a mission to restore Indigenous knowledge of the universe. This Canada Day, the author of Tipiskawi Kisik: Night Sky Star stories, shares the Cree knowledge of Keewatin over the Winnipeg skyline. But if you think fireworks are the main event? Think again. Wilfred is using new tech to tell ancient stories - drones. Jennifer Howse is an Education Specialist at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory at the University of Calgary, nestled in the Foothills of the Rockies. Jennifer, who is Métis from Alberta, reveals the night skies to young people - as a way to reveal their connection to the stars. Using a giant telescope, she shows them bright stars and distant planets that some have never seen before. Connecting youth to the constellations helps her teach them about the impacts of light pollution.

Duration:00:52:16

The art of the mash-up

6/16/2023
This week, we speak with two Indigenous artists who mash-up traditional with contemporary as a way to carry on culture Joshua De Perry, a member of Long Lake 58 First Nation, is a fancy dancer who you might see strutting his traditional style at a pow wow. But he’s just as comfortable on a dance floor break-dancing to the beat of his own music. Also known as Classic Roots, the music producer and DJ blends pow wow and electronic music to create pow wow techno. And that’s not his only mash-up. During his DJ sets - Joshua also wears his colourful regalia - his feather bustle bouncing to the heavy hitting beats. Carrie Okemaw, from Manto Sipi Cree Nation and Berens River First Nation, has been beading and sewing powwow regalia for over 20 years. She learned the art of beadwork from her grandmother and aunties. Inspired by the bright floral patterns the Cree designer created her own fabric line with a contemporary twist. Now her designs show up in many other creations – from jewelry to ribbon skirts. The possibilities for her bright flower designs are limitless. Plus three friends of Unreserved drop by to share their suggestions of what music to listen to, TV shows to watch and what books to read this summer! Our favourite Indigi-Nerd, writer and filmmaker Sonya Ballentyne tunes us into what to watch on the big and small screen. Some great Indigenous music picks from the producer of the Indigenous Music Countdown, Dave McLeod. Don’t forget a good book! Tli Cho Dene author and Pop-culture Uncle Richard Van Camp shares his top three books to read this summer.

Duration:00:47:39

An "Indspired" episode

6/9/2023
We're celebrating four Indspire Award recipients who create, educate, and inspire The Indspire Awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people. Every year, a dozen First Nation, Metis and Inuit people are chosen for their outstanding achievements across Turtle Island and beyond. Nations Skate Youth is where Joe Buffalo and his team teach kids to skate, as a way to empower, inspire and instill pride. Joe is a legend in the skate community. Not just for his gravity defying feats on a board but also because of his incredible story of survival and resilience. He survived one of Canada’s last residential schools, confronted substance abuse in his life, and after picking up his first skateboard turned pro and became a legend. This year the Samson Cree man was recognized with a Sports Indspire Award. One of this year’s Youth Recipients is Willow Allen. She is a fashion model, a cultural content creator with over a million followers and a soon to be social worker. After being discovered on Instagram, the Inuvialuit beauty has walked runways from Singapore to New York for big name brands like Clinique, Louboutin Beauty, and Canada Goose. But because home is where her heart is, Willow, who is from Inuvik, Northwest Territories also teaches people online about life in the north – just as her dad taught her on the land. Building cabins with her grandfather inspired Reanna Merasty to build a career as an architect focused on holistic homes. Now, Reanna is an architectural intern. She also co-founded the Indigenous Design and Planning Students Association at the University of Manitoba. Reanna is a recipient of a Youth Indspire Award for her advocacy and dedication to changing the field of architecture. Lori Campbell is a 60s Scoop adoptee: one of about 20-thousand Indigenous children who were removed by the government and adopted into mostly non-Indigenous families. She was lost - disconnected from her culture until she enrolled at the University of Regina. There she found a community of “aunties and uncles” that guided her on a journey of self-discovery. Now, as the Associate Vice President of Indigenous Engagement of the same university, she is on a mission to make universities a resource for other Indigenous people who want to find their way home.

Duration:00:54:09

Good medicine from two top Indigenous medical professionals

6/2/2023
Two Indigenous health care professionals; two leaders in their field. They talk about the challenges and the opportunities to fix a broken healthcare system that too often harms Indigenous people. Dr. Alika Lafontaine says Indigenous people are starting to take their place in institutions like the medical field. He would know, he’s done it as the first Indigenous physician to head the Canadian Medical Association - the largest advocacy group for Canadian doctors. Dr. Lafontaine, who is Oji-Cree and Pacific Islander, is positioned to make change. Dr. Lafontaine tells us how he uses his position as a leader in his field to uplift others, just as he has been lifted up by others before him. As one of only a few Indigenous pharmacists in Canada, Jaris Swidrovich knows about making space. When they started in the field, Indigenous pharmacists were few and far between. Longing for community, they founded the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada to support other Indigenous pharmacists and make room for Indigenous ways of teaching and healing. Jaris, who is Saulteaux and Ukrainian, is also an assistant professor in the University of Toronto’s faculty of pharmacy.

Duration:00:49:38

A new era of archaeology

5/19/2023
Archeology that reconnects the past, present and future of Indigenous history Archaeology has always studied Indigenous history without us. It was something that was done to, instead of with Indigenous peoples. But a growing number of Indigenous archaeologists are pushing back against the colonial boundaries of the field. Cree/Metis archeologist, Paulette Steeves makes the case that Indigenous peoples have lived on Turtle Island a lot longer than previously thought. The Canada Research Chair in Healing and Reconciliation says archaeology’s deeply held beliefs that we originated somewhere else are rooted in racism. The professor at Algoma University authored The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere in 2021. It is the first book written from an Indigenous perspective on the Paleolithic archaeology of the Americas. Cree/Scottish Curator of Indigenous Collections and Repatriation at the Royal BC Museum, Kevin Brownlee believes archaeology is about more than digging up the past. It’s uncovering our histories to pass on to our children. As a 60s scoop adoptee, he had questions around where he came from. Archaeology helped bring him a deeper understanding of that history. Now, he wants other Indigenous youth to have access to that same knowledge. A new generation of archaeologists are now recovering their past as a way to reclaim narrative. Anishinabe Odjibikan is an archaeological field school in Ottawa. Anishinaabe Algonquin youth like Jennifer Tenasco, Breighton Baudoin and Kyle Sarazin help clean, sort and catalogue items left by their ancestors thousands of years ago because they believe Indigenous people should be telling their own histories.

Duration:00:54:09

5 rising musicians share their songs and success

5/12/2023
Today, the beautiful resistance of Indigenous music makers carrying powerful messages Digging Roots is Raven Kanatakta and Shoshona Kish. The blues/folk/soul duo just won a JUNO Award for their latest album Zhawenim. Their fourth studio album takes inspiration from skylines and mountain ranges; something the couple call Anishinabek Songlines, an ancient way of creating music. Rising star Aysanabee also got to shine on Canada’s JUNO stage this year. The singer/songwriter from Sandy Lake First Nation gave an emotional performance of his song, We Were Here featuring Northern Cree. We catch up with him to find out where his album Watin, about his grandfather, has taken him since its powerful debut. It’s rage and recovery with Kristi Lane Sinclair on her new record Super Blood Wolf Moon. The Haida/Cree rocker takes us through her personal journey as a survivor of domestic violence and PTSD. But more than that it is a journey of reclamation, healing and ultimately, the power of women who rise above it all. Zoon, also known as Daniel Monkman, represents young two-spirit identity in their latest record Bekka Ma’iingan, available now. Anishinaabemowin for ‘slow down’ and ‘wolf,’ Bekka Ma’iingan is both a grieving and a celebration of lost loved ones. From escaping a religious cult, to receiving JUNO nominations Jayli Wolf has seen a lot. Her 2021 debut EP Wild Whisper helped her work through intergenerational trauma and the shame she experienced as a young queer woman. Ultimately, the Anishinaabe woman reclaimed the Indigenous identity she had been displaced from. On her new record, God is an Endless Mirror, set for release this summer, Jayli shares her spiritual awakening. Plus a taste of the latest music from Indian Giver, Wyatt C. Louis, Sebastian Gaskin, and Andrina Turenne

Duration:00:51:57

Celebrating Indigenous Drag Kings and Queens

5/5/2023
You never know what you’ll find when you walk into Sunshine House. There could be people singing karaoke or making get well cards for a friend. This resource centre in Winnipeg’s centennial neighbourhood provides harm reduction supplies, a cup of coffee and community. In the center of this community: Drag. Feather Wolfe and Davey Francis Kole are the heart and soul of Sunshine House – and two of the Queens behind the Like That drop-in program, primarily focused on the LGBTQ2S+ community and invites them to come as they are. Chelazon Leroux sashayed into our hearts on the third season of Canada’s Drag Race. The Dene drag queen from Saskatoon is one of the few Indigenous queens to grace Ru Paul’s Canadian stage. But it’s more than just stilettos, big hair and crowns; Chelazon is fierce, funny and proud to represent being Indigenous. In a world of queens, it can be a challenge for kings to find a place for themselves. Drag artists like Vancouver-based King Fisher, aka Jayme Andrews have had to fight to be part of the scene. But, clad in rhinestone, armour and love, they’ve won that battle. A drag performer of the Ktunaxa Nation, King Fisher challenges what drag should look like. Did someone say Landback? Colonization almost completely erased the space where two-spirit people exist within our communities. Anita Landback, who is from Millbrook First Nation, uses their drag as a love letter to their Mi'kmaq culture and to reclaim this space for themselves and future generations of two-spirit people. As much as many might wish they looked like Adam Beach, that’s not the reality for most. Growing up, Tygr Willy loved watching Mr. Beach on the screen but didn’t see themselves reflected. Through drag they’re hoping to bring softer representation of Indigenous bodies and cultural intersectionality to a wider audience.

Duration:00:54:09

Decolonizing our colleges and universities

4/28/2023
This week on Unreserved we explore what it takes to decolonize our colleges and universities. Amanda Tachine is Diné from Ganado, Arizona. She is an assistant professor at Arizona State University and the author of Native Presence and Sovereignty in College: Weapons to defeat systemic monsters. She tells us how her students are taking on settler colonialism and finding power in kinship and love. And we don't know where we're going unless we know where we come from. Harvey McCue tells us how he co-founded the very first Indigenous Studies Department in Canada, back in 1968. Harvey is an educator, a long time advocate for Indigenous youth, and a member of the Order of Canada. And Randy Herrmann is taking on the institution and industry as he encourages the engineering department at the University of Manitoba to take Indigenous knowledge systems into account. He is the director of Engineering Access Program which supports Indigenous students studying engineering. Plus, we check in with students at the University of Ottawa about where they find belonging on campus.

Duration:00:54:09

Water is sacred

4/21/2023
For Indigenous people water is more than just hydration. Water is alive and holds a spirit. Water is life. Stephanie Thorassie advocates for the Seal River Watershed, a pristine region in northern Manitoba, about 200 km west of Churchill. It is a vast area central to the Sayisi Dene people, who have served as its guardians for millenia. As the executive director of the Seal River Watershed Alliance Stephanie leads a partnership of four First Nations pushing to have the area designated an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. In 2003, Anishnaabe Elder Josephine Mandamin took her first ceremonial water walk around Lake Superior. She wanted to share a message: the water is sick and people need to speak, love and fight for it. Following Mandamin's footsteps, Elder Shirley Williams, an Anishinaabe Elder from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, along with her niece Elizabeth Osawamick have been organizing annual water walks around the Kawartha region of Ontario since 2010. Lawyer and activist Pamela Palmater created a documentary that warns: we must work together to save water – before it's too late. The short documentary is called Samqwan which means water in the Mi'kmaq language. Pam is a lawyer, professor, activist and author who wants to raise awareness around the threats to water - from pipelines to clear-cutting to water pollution.

Duration:00:54:09

Preserving, protecting and passing on Indigenous growing practices

4/14/2023
Indigenous agricultural practices kept our ancestors alive for millenia. They not only fed their own communities but also taught settlers how to grow food across this vast territory. Indigenous people, like Cree-Métis Winnipegger Audrey Logan, keep that tradition alive and growing! Audrey’s whole life revolves around growing food. It has to. We tour Spirit Park, a community garden she helped create, in the West Broadway neighbourhood where she shares her journey from being depressed, overweight and diabetic to a healthy-eating Indigenous garden guru! Over in Tyendinaga, Chloe Maracle is carrying seeds for the next 7 Generations. We dig deep and learn about the 300 seed varieties kept at the Kenhteke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre. The Haudenosaunee intern is not just learning how to care for the vast collection but is also growing that list to include at-risk varieties important to her people. Food insecurity has been a concern in many Indigenous communities for years. A 2019 study found that almost half of all First Nations families struggle to put food on the table. But people like Steven Wiig and Julia Pechawis are trying to change that. They turned a farmers field into a food forest in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan.

Duration:00:47:23

Duncan McCue: Award-winning storyteller and changemaker

4/7/2023
He is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, professor, and author. After 25 years at CBC,the Anishinaabe storyteller is moving on from the public broadcaster and on to a new stage. Duncan began his career at the CBC as a reporter in Vancouver in 1998. These days, he’s the host of Helluvastory on CBC Radio One and the podcast Kuper Island, an 8-part series about the notorious Residential School by the same name. Many know him from the years he hosted Cross Country Checkup. He’s also the author of The Shoe Boy: A Trapline Memoir and created and wrote Decolonizing Journalism: A Guide to Reporting in Indigenous Communities, which is still used in CBC newsrooms. But all that’s about to change. Later this year he takes on a new role as Professor of Indigenous Journalism and Storytelling at Carleton's School of Journalism in Ottawa. He’ll be creating a new Certificate of Indigenous Journalism for students in remote communities. We want to send him off in a good way, reflecting on – not only an incredible career – but the life and the people that led him to it. Guest appearances and shout-outs of love from: Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Waubgeshig Rice, and many more admirers, including his #1 fan, his Dad!

Duration:00:54:09

Community Heroes

3/31/2023
By day, he’s a police officer; by night, a DNA detective. Dean Lerat is an RCMP Staff Sergeant at Fort Qu’appelle, Saskatchewan. But when he’s not on duty, he helps Sixties Scoop survivors find their families, using DNA testing kits, ancestry websites, public documents and other resources. It all started with a curiosity about his own family tree and history. Up until two years ago, youth in Kinngait, Nunavut didn’t have much to do. The Inuit hamlet of about 1400 people had zero hockey games, art classes or social activities. That is, until Joanne Weedmark came along. She made it her job to keep the kids busy. As director of recreation, Joanne is bringing positive change to her community. Her hard work caught the attention of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, which selected her as its “Emerging Leader of the Year” in 2022 at the young age of 24. Dr. Courtney Leary is originally from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. When she was growing up there, she dreamt of becoming a doctor. After graduating from university she returned home to become Norway House’s first practicing doctor. Respect, reciprocity, reconciliation, and relevance are the basis of an organization started by a group of youth in 2014. Jess Bolduc is Anishinaabe-French from Baawating and credits the Idle No More Movement for inspiring her own determination to bring change to her community and start the 4Rs Youth Movement. The organization centers and supports the work that Indigenous young people are doing in their communities, thereby creating an infrastructure for the next generation of changemakers.

Duration:00:49:22

Blazing a trail on the catwalk and beyond

3/24/2023
Sage Paul grew up watching the women in her life sew, bead and craft. She turned these skills into a career, and has been dreaming and designing clothes for over a decade. But clothes aren’t the only things she wants to create. As the executive and artistic director of Indigenous Fashion Arts, Sage also creates opportunities for other Indigenous designers to find success in the fashion industry. This past February, the Dene designer and artist led a delegation all the way to Milan Fashion Week. Two people who were part of the team that Sage took to Milan Fashion Week were Anishinabe designer Lesley Hampton and Metis designer Evan Ducharme. Their stories are woven into the fabrics of history and shared across generations through the clothes they create. While the two young designers never saw themselves included within the fashion industry as children, they’re now bringing the change they wanted to see to international runways. Indigenous people are not just behind the runway curtain creating fabulous clothes. They’re also modeling them. From TikTok to the catwalk, Michelle Chubb knows what it takes to make it as an Indigenous woman in the fashion world. This past February, the 25 year-old Swampy Cree model joined 2Spirit fashion designer Scott Wabano at New York Fashion Week. Michelle was part of a group of mostly Indigenous models to showcase their work.

Duration:00:48:54

Moving through grief with How to Lose Everything

3/17/2023
When it comes to loss and moving gracefully through grief, Christa Couture knows a thing or two. The multi-talented writer, singer and now filmmaker has lived through more than her fair share of loss. At 11 years old, she received a cancer diagnosis. She lost her first son when he was just a day old due to complications during childbirth. Her second son died at 14 months old due to complications with his heart. Soon after, her marriage ended. And just as some new beginnings emerged, cancer returned. To work through her loss and grief, Christa turned to music – creating seven albums and a memoir called How to Lose Everything. These were important projects in helping her deal with her own grief. Now she’s looking to help others with their experiences with grief and loss. Christa and producer Michelle St. John have teamed up with 5 pairs of Indigenous writers, artists and animators to create a series of short films. Each one – a personal story of loss. Each voice – sharing wisdom to help others through the darkness. “Grape Soda in the Parking Lot” is the name of Taqralik Partridge’s short film animated by Megan Kyak-Monteith. In it, Taqralik recalls her Scottish grandmother who spoke Gaelic and her Inuk father who spoke Inuktitut and poses an important question about language. Archer Pechawis, an artist and member of Mistawasis First Nation, is the storyteller behind “A Bear Named Jesus.” The short film, stop-motion animated by Terril Calder, explores what happened after his mom became a born-again Christian.

Duration:00:50:19

Copycats and copyrights of Indigenous art

3/10/2023
It was a crime that shook the art world. One hundred million dollars in suspected forgeries, over 1000 more fakes seized and 8 arrests in a far-reaching forgery ring of renowned Ojibwa artist Norval Morrisseau’s work. Police call it one of the largest art fraud schemes in history. But it's not just Morrisseau who has faced fakes and forgeries. Indigenous art makers and supporters all across Turtle Island say it is rampant and the cost is not just their livelihood – it is their culture. Indigenous artists say copycat art is more common than you think and copyright laws must evolve to protect them. Richard Hunt comes from a long line of Northwest Coast artists. The 73 year old Kwaguilth artist started carving at the age of 13 alongside his father, Henry Hunt. Richard says for about as long as he’s been a carver, he has seen his work copied. He says it is worse than stealing art: it is stealing cultural property. It was a design meant to support Residential School Survivors but the artist who created the West Coast stylized hands says people are ripping it off for profit. K’ómoks and Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw visual artist Andy Everson and his wife Erin Brillon, Haida and Cree and owner of Totem Design House, have experienced the damage of copycats firsthand. They see websites selling inauthentic Indigenous art and design pop up on an almost daily basis. The husband and wife team work to educate others about the importance of buying authentic Indigenous art. As the first art historian to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, Senator Patricia Bovey champions Canadian art. But she also advocates for better protections for Indigenous artists’ work. Currently, there are few laws preventing counterfeit and fake Indigenous art in Canada but Senator Bovey hopes to change that by pushing changes to Canada’s copyright laws and setting up a fund that would help artists go after art fakesters.

Duration:00:44:11