The success of the Resonating Reconciliation project is largely in part the result of the hard work and dedication of the Indigenous producers who write, interview, and edit the docs to completion. These producers come from diverse backgrounds, varying degrees of experience with radio, and from all across Canada. Each brings with them their own passion for the subject, style of documentary, insights, and story to share. Many of the producers themselves are either a survivor, or intergenerational survivor of Indian Residential Schools.
Below are the producer biographies for the stations that have completed Resonating Reconciliation documentaries. Also included are descriptions of the completed documentaries as written by the producers themselves. You can download the documentaries from the program exchange here, or click the tab “Documentaries“.
Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer and radio host living in traditional Lekwungen territory (Victoria, BC) since 1994. Janet has hosted Native Waves Radio on CFUV 101.9fm since 2007 and does a music column on CBC Radio One called, “Tribal Clefs”. She is a regular contributor with BC Musician Magazine and Indian Country Today News Media. Janet produced the radio documentary, “Bring Your Drum: 50 Years of Indigenous Protest Music” for CBC’s Inside the Music in 2011. She is Victoria’s current poet laureate (2012-2015).
Brian Sampson is Coast Salish, living on the T’sartlip Reserve where he lives with his wife and two sons. Brian is a hip-hop artist producing tracks and music videos as Yellow Wolf with his musical partner Tommy Barndawg. His recent music project is a video inspired by the residential school experience of his family members titled “Re-Educate” found on YouTube here. As well, Brian’s family produces the longest standing pow-wow on Vancouver Island, the Yellowolf Pow Wow.
About the Documentary: Wanting to honour the traditional territories of the Salish peoples where CFUV broadcasts from and Janet Rogers lives, she invited Brian Sampson to be co-producer for this radio project. Brian has family members generations before him who have directly and indirectly experienced residential schools, and he is of a generation that is no longer in denial of the experience and is now looking at the effects. Being a father of two young boys, Brian went to his own family members — his mother, his uncles, cousins and community friends — to collect their stories and insights into where do we (collectively) go from here. Janet edited Brian’s audio and included songs by Salish language speaker John Elliott, Russell Wallace and Veronica Johnny.
Jessica Buffalo is Cree living in Vancouver, BC. She interned on the documentary series, “The Law Between Us” and hosted an Aboriginal current affairs program at CJSF titled, “Red Beat Radio”. Currently, she is about to enter into first-year law at UBC.
About the Documentary: Jessica Buffalo is an inter-generational survivor of residential schools. Her father was removed from his community and his traditional way of life when he was a child. The experience had a huge impact on him in both positive and negative ways, and he always tried to help his children understand his experiences through storytelling. Jessica sat down with him and captured some of those stories — one in particular, a story of strength and resistance was important for him to share with her. Therefore, it was important for her to share it with everyone else.
Mercedes Peters is an eighteen-year-old Mi’kmaq woman from Saint John, NB. She is currently studying English and History at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She became an active voice for the effects of Indian Residential Schools after learning about them in high school. Moved to make a difference, she has been teaching others about Indigenous issues ever since. After her undergraduate degree, she hopes to write novels and continue her studies to become a professor of History.
About the Documentary: “Rising Above Adversity” is a documentary about the horrors that the First Nations children in attendance at the Schubenacadie Indian Residential School faced, and how their experiences affected later generations. It is a work that highlights the movement in the Maritimes to move forward and heal from the troubles that Indigenous people had faced in the past. It looks at the negative effects of the residential schools, but more importantly, it puts emphasis on the strength of the people and how they are able to rise above and come out stronger than ever before. Inspired by the producer’s own experiences learning about the residential schools, “Rising Above Adversity” is an uplifting story of hope, and paints a picture of the strength of Canada’s Aboriginal people, unmatched by anything you’ve ever seen before.
Ian Ki’laas Caplette is from the Gitando Tribe of the nine allied Tsimshian Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams and is from the Gisbutwaada Clan from the House of Gamiyaam. He has an undergraduate degree in First Nations Studies with a specialization in political science from Vancouver Island University (VIU). Prior to representing his graduating class as the first Indigenous valedictorian at VIU, his passionate activism and community engagement with the local Indigenous nation and with the diverse Indigenous nations attending VIU led to his advocacy for Indigenous peoples in a variety of forums. He has represented to the VIU Senate, the VIU Students’ Union, regionally to the First Nations Education Steering Committee, and nationally to the Canadian Federation of Students and to the Tri-Annual Aboriginal Policy Research Conference, while continually engaging in grassroots initiatives. A panel speaker and guest lecturer at colleges, universities, and public schools, Ian Ki’laas Caplette have worked with community organizations in confronting racism, settler colonialism, and gender violence among youth. His main focus remains the liberation of Indigenous peoples from the colonial relationship that perpetuates systemic genocide on Indigenous peoples and societies and his strong voice remains committed to confronting the silences surrounding the relationships between Settler society and Indigenous peoples. Currently living in unceeded Nuu-Chah-Nulth homelands with his wife Marisa and their three children, Semiah, Heexal, and Hinaayilth, Ian Ki’laas Caplette is conducting the final phase of his Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) program at the University of Victoria.
Cj Rice is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, a film creator, writer, and technician. She is the technician and producer, “Cj Your Dj”, and hosts a one-hour radio show, “Shh, Rez Pirate Radio” on Saturdays at noon on CHLY 101.7FM in Nanaimo, BC. Cj completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media Studies at Vancouver Island University. Amongst many other film and radio accomplishments, she directed the stellar cast of “Copper Thunderbird” with the Western Edge Theatre Company, stage-directed, created props, etc. for the hilarious “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” with the Maple Ridge Players.
About the Documentary: “Geraldine Manson: Saving a Life” — Geraldine Manson is a respected Elder, Cultural Keeper, previous Band Council member, Elder-in-Residence at Vancouver Island University, and loving family member of Snuneymuxw First Nations in Nanaimo, BC. Geraldine’s youth was marred by the required attendance at residential schools and youth care. She tells us her story in bare, raw, complete form here with her blessings and hopes that more people will understand the negative effects and barriers to the cultural understanding that First Nations people have withstood throughout the generations and fight to overcome them as she has shown us how. Warning: Explicit language, situations, and mature content; and some adults may be offended. Please remember to cleanse yourself after listening to this content to wash the negative emotions away in however you feel comfortable doing so. Produced by Cj Rice, Interviewed by Ian Kil’aas Caplette.
Cj, a member of Snuneymuxw First Nations herself, contacted Geraldine about her story through hearing about it at the Campbell River TRC event. Geraldine was gracious, generous, and brave in telling us her story. She picked the location and the time; her front porch overlooking the Nanaimo harbour where she has lived her whole married life, and just before the Snuneymuxw Days event where we could hear children playing and laughing in the background along with the sounds of the waterfront. Because of the timeline of the project, they were unable to complete Ian’s editing prowess and so Cj edited the file. Ian completed the intro and outro, the interview with Geraldine, and learned how to create a podcast from beginning to end. Much of the training was completed online with internet calls, and internet video. The editing was tough because of the chosen location and time. The wind was a factor, as was the comfort distance as Geraldine bared her soul that created lower voices, higher voices, and unforgiving background interruptions that were difficult to work with.
Joanne Bear is a Cree motion designer/producer from Muskoday First Nation. She recently graduated from Seneca College, specializing in Visual Effects for Film and TV. With a background rooted in fashion, she has spent some time in New York working in the fashion industry as a fashion stylist for MTV. Today, she has merged her love and skills for design and production into motion graphics and is building a career as a motion designer/producer. She lives in Toronto, with her husband and her dog.
About the Documentary: The focus of this documentary was healing. Because the media focus is mainly on the negative aspects of the residential school experience, producer Joanne Bear wanted to focus on how residential school survivors have made the decision to heal and move forward in their lives, how they are using their experience to help others heal, and how survivors can rebuild and re-connect to their culture to preserve it for all generations to come.
Timothy Maton is a Native Studies MA student at the University of Manitoba. He has produced Indigenous-themed radio documentaries at Trent University in Peterborough, where he completed his BAH. His CV includes interviews with George Manuel and Winona Laduke. He has acted as a talk radio show host for OPIRG, as well as created social justice-themed experimental audio art. Currently, Timothy is writing his thesis on the foundations of English racism found in the materialist intersections between medical anthropology and architecture. In his undergrad, his focus was on Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. Timothy is also a designer of clothing and hopes to complete a photography and clothing exhibition this year that will exhibit the essential themes of Eugenic science that were utilized by British Institutions to justify genocidal policies in various Commonwealths around the world.
Dr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, CD, is currently a Program Director for the Aboriginal Focus Programs (University of Manitoba). He has degrees in music, education and anthropology. He works on issues related to university entrance programs, Indian Residential Schools, the military and music. He earned his PhD in 2011 from Laval University, the second Aboriginal person in its entire 350-year history to earn such a degree. His dissertation is entitled “Evaluating Aboriginal Curricula using a Cree-Métis Perspective with a regard towards Indigenous knowledge”. He also has extensive experience in administration earned with the military through 15 years of service in various units from combat, medical and even musical military organizations. He retired from the military as the Sergeant at Arms of the 5th Field Ambulance based in Valcartier, Quebec. He currently hosts a radio program “At the Edge of Canada” at UMFM in Winnipeg. He is Cree (Red Pheasant First Nation) from Saskatchewan, but was raised in Calgary. He is happily married and has 4 wonderful windigos/boys and 1 beautiful princess.
About the Documentary: “Indian Residential Schools And Modern Child & Family Services: Comparing Concepts Of Cultural Genocide”, produced by Robert Falcon Ouellette and Tim Maton, hosted by Robert Falcon Ouellette. The documentary features two songs: “Red Revolution” by Ila Barker and “See the Arrow” by Winston Wuttunee.
Lauren Crazybull is a programmer at CKXU 88.3 FM. She hosts a two-hour folk radio program called “Bridges and Balloons” which airs weekly. Lauren is a Sociology major at the University of Lethbridge and hopes to get into the field of Social Work at the end of her degree. She is also pursuing Art and has had her art published and featured around Lethbridge. Lauren produced the documentary “True Contact: Resonating Reconciliation in Southern Alberta,” alongside many CKXU members and trainees. She will be continuing to shed light on issues using the mediums of radio and art.
About the Documentary: The main goal of “True Contact: Resonating Reconciliation in Southern Alberta” was to enlighten the community about the past. The documentary team learned early on how little the community knew about residential schooling and the direct impact they have had on the Lethbridge community. Lethbridge has a visual separation between the Aboriginal community and the rest of the population and this documentary is aiming to bridge that gap that the community has been living in. The first step to connecting the communities to each other is to inform. This documentary features several community members’ perspectives as well as a residential school survivors’ experience, merging the two sides in one documentary to create an enlightening and touching audio piece.
Jesse Dubois still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. His internship at CJSW 90.9 FM is just the latest stop in wild train ride of a career for Jesse. He’s worked in small-town rural construction, got to be a security guard at the 2010 Olympic Games, volunteered for the Sask Native Theater Company, and somehow still managed to have time to attend The University of Calgary. Writing and running are currently his two favourite ways to kill time. He was raised in Saskatchewan and currently works and lives in Calgary.
Tahirih Foroozan is an aspiring broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent. She recently finished an internship with CTV Lethbridge, was a reporter for CHRW, London Under 30, Student Health 101, and is a contributor for Workstory.net. Tahirih is a proud alumna of the University of Lethbridge and is completing a master’s degree in journalism at Western University. She took a break in the summer of 2013 to work with CJSW 90.9FM as a multicultural coordinator. In her spare time, Tahirih practices contemporary jazz dance. She was raised in Okotoks, Alberta, and currently calls Calgary home.
Marc Affeld is currently the News Director at CJSW 90.9FM, where he works with volunteers to create engaging and innovative radio. Marc graduated from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) in 2009 gaining volunteer experience writing for The Gateway and helping out at CJSR 88.5FM. After making the move down south to Calgary, he got his start at CJSW as a volunteer co-creating the station’s popular radio series/podcast “Today in Canadian History.”
About the Documentary: This documentary focuses on education and its role in Indian Residential Schools, and its continuing impact on Indigenous people and Canadians. It also details how the education Jesse’s father received in Indian Residential Schools has impacted his father’s perspective towards education and how this has played a role in Jesse’s life and family.
Adam Roper lives in a renovated hotel in downtown Abbotsford with 23 other people, and hosts a weekly radio show on CIVL titled “Birds Of Canada”. A seasoned writer, he recently published a modest collection of poetry, available at birdsofcanada.bandcamp.com.
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