Leading by Example Exceeding Personal Expectations

Tanis Flett receiving her Diploma

Tanis Flett receiving her Diploma

Graduating is a major accomplishment and there’s great joy in donning your cap and gown and receiving your parchment. It’s a day when you look back on the challenges you’ve overcome – the late nights studying, driving through storms to get to class, and remembering the people you met along the way and the fun memories you’ve made. For Tanis Flett, a graduate of the Social Work Diploma program in June of 2017, it is also proof that her hard work and determination has set her up for a successful future.

Tanis Flett is a 29 year-old, mother of four who lives in Sucker Creek First Nation with her husband. Flett was a stay-at-home mom for eight years, and when her youngest child started kindergarten she decided it was time to return to school full-time. Flett credits her husband and his support in her success. She chose to study with Northern Lakes College because of accessibility. The High Prairie Campus is only 20 minutes away from where she lives, and it was easy to travel back and forth.

During her studies at Northern Lakes College, Flett was involved with several committees including the Student Union, the Student Association, Academic Council, and the Community Education Committee. Flett appreciates the support, “I had incredible instructors. The people in the Student Association and staff at the College were great. I really appreciate their support. It was a really good four years.”

Flett was very excited and relieved when she made it to graduation day. Graduating alongside her sister, Kim Flett-Letendre was a proud moment. Flett recalled when she was attending a convocation ceremony a few years earlier and watched a Social Work student being called up to receive multiple awards. This was an awe-inspiring moment for her and she set a goal for herself to be that person one day. Her hard work paid off; on her graduation day Flett received three awards, including the Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medallion for highest academic achievement. “I hope that my children will see my hard work and effort as an example for themselves to succeed in life. I believe in leading by example. If you work hard, you can achieve anything you want,” she said.

Today, Flett works for the Social Development Department at Sucker Creek First Nation. In her work, Flett continues to aim high and says that her education has given her the skills and tools to handle challenging situations that life has in store.

FNESS Youth Engagement Initiative – Fire Prevention: Be a Firefighter

Participants at Fire Prevention: Be A Firefighter workshop, GOV 2017, Kelowna Fire Department. Kelowna, BC.

Participants at Fire Prevention: Be A Firefighter workshop, GOV 2017, Kelowna Fire Department. Kelowna, BC.

The First Nations Emergency Services Society of BC (FNESS) has the mission as a professional community-minded, highly skilled and committed team, to work with First Nations in promoting, developing and sustaining safer and healthier communities. We believe that our youth are the future of society and that if young people engage in doing something with a purpose, they will build tomorrow’s communities.

FNESS is proud to be involved with youth with the well-established FNESS Youth Engagement Initiative. Every year the FNESS Fire Services department motivates youth to learn about practical fire safety knowledge, firefighter skills and careers in the fire services. Many young people join the Regional FNESS Fire Prevention Youth Boot Camps and the Fire Prevention: Be A Firefighter workshop. The latter is delivered in partnership with Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training (GOV).

For the past 2 years FNESS has partnered with schools, school districts, local fire departments, both municipal and First Nations led, to deliver this amazing event to First Nations youth. In 2017 FNESS had the honour to partner with Kelowna Fire Department to participate as facilitators at GOV, where over 100 youth attended and demonstrated their drive and excitement. Also, FNESS partnered with Penticton Indian Band Fire Department, Penticton Fire Department, West Kelowna Fire Department, and School Districts 23 and 67 to host two regional Fire Prevention Youth Boot Camps.

During GOV 2018 FNESS will be attending as an exhibitor at the career fair and as facilitators to deliver the most coveted Fire Prevention: Be A Firefighter workshop. FNESS has partnered with Richmond Fire Rescue to offer the best experience for our First Nations youth participating at the GOV 2018. It is an honour to be able to be part of one the greatest youth initiatives in BC, where thousands of delegates from all First Nations across BC come together to get inspired and motivated through diverse career oriented workshops at the GOV.

This year’s GOV is in Richmond, BC at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel from March 20th to March 23rd. The Fire Prevention: Be A Firefighter workshop will be on March 21st and March 22nd. Make sure you register for our workshop before it’s at capacity. Registrations open in February at www.gatheringourvoices.ca.

For Danny Beaton, Greenbelt Celebrates Mother Earth

Harold and Ann Boker and Danny in Art Parnel Clover Field Simcoe County Photo Courtesy of J.E.Simpson, 2009

Harold and Ann Boker and Danny in Art Parnel Clover Field Simcoe County Photo Courtesy of J.E.Simpson, 2009

Now in a ponderous and tentative way the Ontario government is engaged in a consultation to expand the Greenbelt into the sacred heartland of Huronania. It is the core of the civilization that produced the prophetic figure, the Peacemaker.

Technocratic words about wetlands, cold temperature water, moraines, acquifers, base flow and the key indicator species, the Brook Trout are the language of the long overdue excercise to expand the Greenbelt. They have little resonance however, compared to those expressed by Danny Beaton’s, passion for Mother Earth.

In contrast to official jargon, Beaton explains that, “under the Nanfan Treaty the Mohawk nation has the Right to water and wood from Six Nations to Georgian Bay as long as the grass grows and the sun shines…therefore as a Mohawk man I have a right to protect our sacred waters, sacred farm land and our spiritual animals.”

Beaton, a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan, took his great stand in the defence of Mother Earth in the campaign to defend the world’s purest source of drinking water. It was located near Elmvale, where the greatest setttlement of the people of the Peacemaker was located.

Beaton has termed The Peacemaker’s World, “The Healing Place.” He finds its “probably one of the most beautiful places that I have been to in my entire life. The waters are everywhere. The forests are everywhere. We pick the
berries.” Here he eats the fish and gathers cedar on a regular basis.

There was a 22 year struggle that sought to protect the world’s cleanest water from becoming a garbage Dump. It was called based on an engineering report, Dump Site 41. Beaton played a major role in stopping the dump from receiving garbage.

Beaton first organized an eight day walk from where Dump Site 41 would be built to Queen’s Park. It was called The Walk for Water. He saw the treck as bringing “attention to the Sacred Waters of the Alliston Aquifer and the tributaries that run into Georgian Bay.”

Following the Walk Water Beaton organized an occupation of the site. It blockaded excavation machines from digging up the Sacred Mother Earth of the Peacemaker’s World.

What made Beaton’s passion so powerful is that he knew how to be arrested with dignity and power. It was a majestic dignity that the Peacemaker’s words of “Peace, Power and Righteousness” resounded from the ancient times from of his ancestors.

Beaton was arrested on the blockade line by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers. At the time of his arrest he was submitting his photographs of the struggle to First Nations Drum and News From Indian Country. At the time he was using an upright log for his desk and sitting on a lawn chair. After being put into handcuffs he was taken to the OPP Midland Detachment Center.

Beaton distinguished himself by refusing to sign a release form. By doing so he would have pledged never to enter the dump site again. He later explained how, “I felt some one had to show the world that this was all crazy”.

Beaton told the Justice of the Peace at his trial that “somebody had to stop the rape of Mother Earth.” At this point, he later recalled, “I felt like crying because of all the chaos that was happening but no justice for Mother Earth.”

In refusing to sign the form Beaton’s words were simple but eloquent. He told reporters, “Who Will Speak to the Water.” These were his last words to the press before spending three days in prison, before his bail hearing.

Beaton’s words of the need to speak for the water came at the right time to stop Dump Site 41. This is because when he went to prison the nonviolent struggle of peaceful resistance to save the world’s purest water had taken on the form of a great scientific experiment. It exposed the lies of the engineering professionals that had been used to deceive the voting public of Simcoe County.

When the resisters held the line against the bulldozers the water that flowed out of the Dump Site 41 site remained pure. As soon as the blockade was breached by the force of the OPP the water that flowed out became dirty.

The stain on the water became a dirty mark upon the politicians who backed Dump Site 41. If so much damage could be caused by simply digging a pit, what people reasoned, would be caused by dumping garbage into it?

During Beaton’s three days in prison, where his biggest complaint was the impurity of the water, an outraged public opinion caused everything to change. Incensed citizens mobilized and phoned their councilors, denouncing them for believing the lies of the engineers.

When Beaton arrived in the Barrie Simcoe County court house, everything had changed. He was released in the knowledge that work on Dump Site 41 had been halted.

The excavations were healed by restorative work. Eventually easements were put on the land by the Ontario Farmland Trust, to ensure that this prime Class One soil would remain in agricultural use forever.

Beaton a few years later came to the rescue to another threat to the cold pure waters that feed the cold water trout streams that flow into lower Georgian Bay. This new threat was termed the Dufferin County mega quarry.

Danny at surface springs in Tiny Township courtesy of Sharon Weatherall, May 2009

Danny at surface springs in Tiny Township courtesy of Sharon Weatherall, May 2009

Much like Dump Site 41 before Beaton’s involvement, opponents of a mega mile quarry on Canada’s best potato growing land had been getting nowhere. Farm houses and buildings were burned down. Their debris clogged local dumps. Forests were clear cut in violation of tree protection by laws. Fence rows were ripped up.

Beaton met with the organizers of opposition in a corporate law office on Bay Street. He told them, literally, to “Take a Hike.”

By suggesting they take a hike Beaton meant they should follow the example the stopped Dump Site 41. He called for a procession from Queen’s Park, the seat of political power which could kill the Mega Quarry, to the site of the proposed giant pit. The march was held and captured the publics imagination. This sparked by death of the scheme through the unusual imposition of an Environmental Assessment.

After the end of the five day trek Beaton and I were led by one of the organizers Smiling Yogi to a place where he promised we would appreciated what the hike was all about. He took us to one of the magnificent cold water streams of Huronia.

Yogi took us to a White Cedar Brook Trout stream which is an important tributary for the cold water Nottawasaga River flowing into Georgian Bay. Here Brook Trout leaped through its sparkling fast running waters, laced with riffles,
runs and pools. It was lined with verdant green watercress.

Beaton is now focused on protecting the Nottawasaga River and the Minesing Wetlands from the polluted storm water that is set to flow from urban expansion in Midhurst. His passion for Mother Earth gives substance to the call of the public consultation document for the expansion of the Greenbelt in Huronia called appropriately, “Protecting Water.” The document exposes how urban sprawl is a threat to the wetlands and trout streams that nourish Georgian Bay. But he expresses it was t through the wisdom of native people who see sacred waters as Mother Earth’s blood.

Chiefs Council Launches GoFundMe Campaign to Quash Oil Tanker Moratorium Act and Great Bear Rainforest


LAX KW’ALAAMS, BC, January 24, 2018 – The Chiefs Council represents over 30 communities engaged in the First Nations-led Eagle Spirit energy corridor proposed from Bruderheim, Alberta to tidewater in northern British Columbia. Its members have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present, or have treaties over the land and ocean of their traditional territories. Having protected the environment as first-stewards of their traditional territories for millennia, the Chief’s Council is vehemently opposed to American ENGOs dictating government policy in their traditional territories—particularly the illegal imposition of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed by the liberal government.

Today the Chiefs Council wishes to announce that it has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with legal and administrative costs needed to quash the Government’s unilaterally imposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act and the Great Bear Rainforest—both of which were established largely through the lobbying of foreign-financed ENGOs and without the consultation and consent of First Nations as required by the Constitution. We have and will always, put the protection of the environment first, but this must be holistically balanced with social welfare, employment, and business opportunities. These government actions harm our communities denying our leaders the opportunity to create a brighter future for their members.

The Chiefs Council understood that liberal government was supposed to be supporting reconciliation–not perpetuating past failed colonial policies designed subjugate and marginalize indigenous peoples. It is a sad comment that this action is required to taken by Canada’s poorest people against a federal justice department with an indigenous minister. When the federal government possesses unlimited financial resources, such heavy-handed unilateral action clearly is not consistent with the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Aboriginal peoples.

The Mountain Money (Op-Ed)

Hannah’s a freelance writer who writes for First Nations Drum. The story you’re about to read is her perspective on a distribution of $3,500 she received as a member of the Siksika First Nation. On March 15, 2016, Siksika Nation members voted in favour of a $123 million deal that saw them give up claims to the Castle Mountain area in Banff National Park.

The distribution was for financial compensation for the Castle Mountain, located in the heart of the Banff Provincial National Park.The financial settlement was meant to compensate Siksika for illegal use of the 70-sq.-km land granted to them in 1892.

The Crown allowed timber sales and other transactions to continue on the land without compensation to the nation, and in 1908 the land was returned to the Canadian government without consent.

The Castle Mountain was granted to the Siksika Nation in 1892 by the federal government, then returned to the government without Siksika's consent in 1908

The Castle Mountain was granted to the Siksika Nation in 1892 by the federal government, then returned to the government without Siksika’s consent in 1908

I didn’t want the money, but the yes vote won. I voted no. I made a point to, too, because I knew most of the votes would be yes. They told us if we voted yes that we’d get 3500 bucks, and that this big, thick document would be approved. I didn’t read it. I went off of what I heard about it from my Dad, who read some of it. He didn’t like it, and he has a good mind about these kinda’ things. I mean, he grew up on the rez. So, with a blind trust in his thoughts, coupled with a suspicion as to why the government felt it necessary to make amendments to a document that gave Siksika rights to this spot of land with this super sweet mountain on it, I voted no. But, the yes vote won by a landslide – I think only 20 percent voted no. Or so I heard. So, I went to pick the money up. I biked cuz it was sunny out. When I got there, I was at the wrong building, so I hadta’ bike a dangerous route to the actual building, across Barlow trail (a busy road), up a grassy hill to 16th Avenue (another busy road), and then along its median strip. It was kinda’ elaborate, come to think of it, but I made it to the place on time,
and I got the damn cheque. It felt gross, picking it up, having it in my hands. I crumpled it up and stuffed it in my pocket, loosely. If it falls out, it falls out, I thought to myself. I got back to my bike, and, instead of going back the elaborate route, I just took the long way home. It rained most of the way – just poured. It was late in the summer, so it wasn’t cold or nothin’, but I thought it was weird, y’know, right after I picked up that damn cheque. Anyways, unfortunately the cheque didn’t fall outta’ my pocket, so I went to put the damn money in the bank. I wanted to get it done and over with. But the teller was suspicious of its authenticity, so he told me it would take a week to be approved. I ended up going in the next day to speak with the manager about it, and he said that that shouldn’t have happened and lifted the hold on the cheque. I mean, it was a government cheque in my name after all. I suspect the initial teller was being weary of my last name, but who knows. Anyways. I spent the money on a damage deposit and first months rent for an apartment that, after a year and a half of living in, I had to move out of abruptly after being unable to pay rent. I didn’t get that damage deposit back. A few months before that, I let a good friend of mine move in. We ended up not getting along all too well, and had some fights, and then a really big fight, and now we aren’t friends anymore. That place was a bad vibe place. Anyways, I also spent the money on some whiskey. The first and only time I drank it, I really made a fool of myself. I went to this party, sporting some heels I’d bought with the money, and mixing those with that whiskey, I slipped – hard – hit my head on a door, and woke up in the host of the parties bed. I was fine, but had a large goose bump, and had lost my cool. I haven’t talked to the girl that threw that party since. I kept that whiskey in my cupboard, which was a terrible idea. I should have just poured it down the sink then and there, but I didn’t. This had its consequence. One night, my sister stayed at my place so she could use my laptop to do some work. I wasn’t there, but she had the key, so it was all well and good. But, she found the whiskey, and, well, she drank some, n’ I reckon she got good and drunk, cuz she spilt a good sum of it on my laptop. It seeped into the cracks of the keyboard, frying my hard drive, instantly erasing my library of hundreds of films and thousands upon thousands of songs. It took years to compile that library, and that damn whiskey just wiped it all away. It was a major loss. The money also got me a pair of jeans, which ripped the first time I wore ‘em, and a bunch of other frivolous things. I was superstitious of having any of it, y’know, just real weary of it all. Anything I bought with that money was no good. It was blood money, I tell ya’. I remember my Dad saying that a lotta’ people on the rez died after getting that distribution, in strange ways, too. I mean, it may be superstitious to think the money had anything to do with it, but considering some of the things that happened to me, it really musta’. I can imagine that if I was in the state-of-mind to have bought more whiskey with that money, I’d have had some real bad luck. And I bet some people did have some real bad luck with that money. Be it the intentions they had when they used it, the things they bought with it, or the reason they voted the way they did, the bad luck came out of somewhere. It did for me, anyways, I just shouldn’t of spent that money on anything. I regret it. Around Christmas time of the same year, I dropped everything I bought off at a homeless shelter. It felt good – but… stale. I shoulda’ just donated the money to charity in the first place. But, that’s how it happened. The only thing I still have that I bought with the money is a record player, speakers, and some vinyl. I suspect something will happen to that stuff, but,
nothing so far.

Order of Canada Presented to Internationally Acclaimed Artist and Lecturer


 

Dr. Jane Ash Poitras CM RCA has received many honors as an internationally acclaimed visual artist and lecturer who has influenced a new generation of artists and students .

She has now added the Order of Canada to the numerous awards she has received in recognition of her achievements and contributions that include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and honorary doctorates from the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.

With Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Alberta, she went on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in New York City. Immediately upon leaving Columbia, she returned to Canada to play a significant role in the development of a new visual vocabulary for First Nations perspectives in contemporary art. Her unique style combines representational strategies of postmodern art—collage, layering, overpainting and incorporation of found objects—with a deep commitment to the politics and issues common to indigenous peoples.

A sessional lecturer for the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies for more than 20 years, throughout her career she has been much in demand as a guest lecturer at universities and conferences and at the many exhibitions of her own art across Canada and the United States and internationally, including Paris, Amsterdam and Mexico City.

Jane’s journey of discovery and creation has opened new doors to enlightenment as she combines her many diverse interests in pursuit of her distinctive artistic vision. Over the years, Jane has pursued many different routes of discovery, each reflected in the art she has produced. Those journeys of exploration have taken her not only into plumbing her Aboriginal roots (beginning by reconnecting with her birth family and her Mikisew Cree First Nation), but into such diverse topics as pharmacology, ethnobotany, linguistics, and literary creations supplementing the creation of visual works of art.

The range and diversity of the interests that inspire and inform her artistic creations have resulted in a number of distinctive series of artworks that, over time, reflect the paths she has taken on her journey of discovery. A survey of those series over the 30 years of her professional career could well serve as a map of that journey and a graphic record of her evolution as an artist.

For example, in 2009 she traveled to Japan with her son Eli, a student in Japanese language and culture, a tour that consisted primarily of visits to Buddhist monasteries and left a lasting impression on both of them. When she returned, while she continued to focus on Indigenous history, culture and spirituality that had informed and inspired her previous work, her new work subsequently began to incorporate Japanese elements and their placement according to Japanese art customs.

Edmonton Journal visual arts critic Janice Ryan previewed one of Poitras’s recent exhibitions, an ambitious collection of works layered with handwritten text, vintage photos, stamps and newspaper clippings placed over a background of thinned oil and acrylic paint . “The work is engaging for its beauty alone,” Ryan wrote. “But up close is where the cerebral journey begins, unraveling fragments of information, both subtle and in-your-face pronouncements, to reveal the story this imaginative
artist is telling.”

One of the key aspects of her art that sets it apart from the work of other artists is her ability to combine and reconcile disparate themes and elements to create fully resolved works that convey information on different levels. Commenting on her art, Poitras says “each blank canvas is an invitation to a journey of discovery. I may begin with an idea of what the final destination—the completed painting—may be, but I’m always open to the unexpected. As Carl Beam said, the art of placement is a spiritual act. Each step in the creative process may reveal unexpected choices that require decisions.

“The final decision for each piece is to know when it is resolved, when it is finished.”
The art of Jane Ash Poitras is featured in dozens of prestigious private, public and corporate collection.

She is represented by the Bearclaw Gallery in Edmonton, the Canada House Gallery in Banff, the Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto and Galerie d’Art Vincent in Ottawa.


 

Another Award For Iconic Dene Artist Alex Janvier

Iconic Dene artist Dr. Alex Janvier CM AOE RCA may be 82, but he`s still painting, still inspiring succeeding generations . . . and still receiving awards.

His most recent honor is the 2017 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award which also went to poet Alice Major and composer John Estacio. At a recent presentation luncheon at the Banff Centre each recipient received a handcrafted medal, $30,000 and a two-week residency at the Banff Centre`s Leighton Artist`s Studio.

His many other awards include the Order of Canada; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; the Alberta Order of Excellence; honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, the Alberta Centennial Medal; and the Governor General Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Born of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent on the Cold Lake (Alberta) Reserve in 1935, Alex was eight years old when he was uprooted from his home and sent to the Blue Quills Indian Residential School near St. Paul, Alberta. Although Janvier says he had a creative instinct from as far back as he can remember, it was at the residential school that he was given the tools to create his first paintings. Unlike many Aboriginal artists of his time, Janvier went on to receive formal art training from the Alberta College of Art in Calgary and graduated with honours in 1960. Immediately after graduation, Janvier accepted an opportunity to instruct art at the University of Alberta.

While Alex credits the influence of artists Wassily Kandinsky (Russian) and Paul Klee (Swiss), his style is unique. Many of his masterpieces involve an eloquent blend of both abstract and representational images with bright, often symbolic colours. As a First Nations person emerging from a history of oppression and many struggles for cultural empowerment, Janvier paints both the challenges and celebrations that he has encountered in his lifetime. Alex proudly credits the beadwork and birch bark basketry of his mother and other relatives as influencing his art.

As a member of the commonly referred to “Indian Group of Seven”, Janvier is one of the significant pioneering Aboriginal artists in Canada, and as such has influenced many generations of Aboriginal artists. By virtue of his art, Janvier was selected to represent Canada in a Canadian/Chinese Cultural Exchange in 1985.

Although he has completed several murals nationally, Janvier speaks of the 450 square-meter circular masterpiece entitled “Morning Star” on the ceiling of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now History), as a major highlight in his career. In January 2004, one of Janvier’s works was displayed in Paris, France at the Canadian Forum on e Cultural Enterprise.

Last year, a Janvier design was replicated in bits of glass in a 45-foot in diameter installation at the entrance to the new Rogers Centre arena in Edmonton–a $1 million art project.

In recognition of his success, Alex Janvier recently received three prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, The Tribal Chiefs Institute, and Cold Lake First Nations. Janvier’s passion and natural talents for creative expression remains strong to this day.

In 2012 the new Janvier Gallery opened on Cold Lake First Nations 149B, which is located north of the City of Cold Lake.


 

Indigenous-Produced Docu-Drama Series “1491” Reveals Untold History of the Americas Before Columbus

The history of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas, before and after 1492, has always been told from the point of view of the European settlers and in recent times, by non-Indigenous scholars. Until now. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) will present the world premiere of the docu-drama series 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus starting November 8th on APTN hd and e at 7:00 p.m. ET, APTN w at 7:00 p.m. MT and n North at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Based on Charles C. Mann’s best selling book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, the eight hour miniseries, produced by Animiki See Digital Production of Winnipeg and Aarrow Productions of Victoria, takes its audience on a journey dating as far back as 20,000 years ago through to 1491. The series focuses on the origins and history of ancient civilizations and groundbreaking achievements in North and South America in the areas of agriculture, astronomy, architecture, environment, governance, medicine, technology, science, trade and art.

The series is produced, directed and written by Indigenous Canadians and most of the 35 historians, archaeologists, cultural experts and scholars interviewed have Indigenous ancestry. The series features an Indigenous cast of actors and cultural leaders who provide context on Indigenous history in the Americas.

“For many years it has been a dream for APTN to adapt Charles C. Mann’s groundbreaking New York Times Bestseller into a documentary miniseries,” said Jean La Rose, APTN Chief Executive Officer. “Many people are now displaying a greater openness to Indigenous perspectives and the time for this authentic story is fitting. Through the work of an amazing team of thought-provoking producers, scholars and talent, we hope to tell a new history of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas and our contributions to the world.”

Mann’s critically acclaimed book, 1491, dispels long-held theories that prior to European contact, Indigenous Peoples were largely nomadic, did not alter the natural landscape, and were not as advanced as other civilizations in the world at the time.

“I am thrilled that my book has inspired APTN and two Indigenous production companies to create a docu-drama series on the history of the Americas before Columbus’ arrival,” said Charles Mann. “I’m looking forward to seeing this team create an epic narrative of Indigenous history that is long overdue.”


 
Two award-winning filmmakers, Barbara Hager (Cree/Métis) and Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe), directed the series in locations throughout North, Central and South America. The series was written by Barbara Hager and Marie Clements (Métis). Other key creatives include composer Russell Wallace (Lil’wat), production designer Teresa Weston, costume designer Carmen Thompson (Nuu-chah-nulth), director of photography Bob Aschmann, editors Michael Clark and Tyler F. Gamsby and narrator Dr. Evan Adams (Tla’amin).

“The opportunity to direct the dramatic scenes in this series that brings to life stories of our collective history, is both an honour and a creative challenge,” said Lisa Jackson, the series’ drama director. “My co-director Barbara Hager and I share a vision that this series must portray the history of Indigenous Peoples in an accurate, authentic and respectful way.”