Get to know the CBC New Indigenous Voices class of 2020

Faith Gore, Matthew Tenute, Sarah Carrier, Nathaniel Magbanua, Seth Arcand, Janell Henry, AJ Wastasecoot, Kyler Harper

Students of 2020 above from top left: Faith Gore, Matthew Tenute, Sarah Carrier, Nathaniel Magbanua; bottom from left: Seth Arcand, Janell Henry, AJ Wastasecoot, Kyler Harper

On September 8, eight students began the CBC New Indigenous Voices training program – online! Typically, the program is delivered in person but this is 2020 and we’re all finding ways to adjust – including NSI and how we bring our courses to students. You can read more about how we’ve redesigned the program.

Instead of sitting in a classroom at NSI’s HQ in Winnipeg, our class of 2020 are learning via Zoom.

For their first writing assignment, we wanted you to get to know them a little better so we gave them a list of questions to consider. This is what they had to say.

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Seth Arcand

Seth Arcand

I’m an aspiring filmmaker and photographer. I recently graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English literature at Concordia University in Edmonton.

I’m from the Kipohtakaw First Nation in Cree territory. I’m interested in creating stories that involve the life experiences of me and my family. I want to show the humour and love that is deeply rooted in our communities. We are more than just a story of survival, we are thriving people that are growing and pushing creativity forward.

My sister Emory shared information about this program with me, and I applied because I saw an opportunity to learn from Indigenous professionals in the industry. The program will help me to grow the skills necessary to do well in the world of media. Becoming a well-rounded filmmaker is my focus. I want to be able to do anything required of me on set.

My dream is to become a writer, director and producer. I am also interested in learning more about cinematography.

This pandemic has created an interesting set of circumstances, but our program coordinators have done an incredible job creating a space that nurtures our growth through this program. I am excited to work with this talented group that I am part of, as they are all powerhouses.

Seeing what the other students have in store is exciting, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with each of them, kininaskomitin.

Sarah Carrier

Sarah Carrier

I am from Regina, Saskatchewan and belong to Piapot First Nation.

I am currently in my fourth year of studies at the University of Regina majoring in political science. I also have a diploma in film production from the Recording Arts Institute in Saskatoon. Besides film, I am interested in different aspects of design and architecture.

I applied for this program mainly because the prospect of learning more about filmmaking and the industry through an Indigenous lens is exciting to me and makes me hopeful for the future. I think as Indigenous people, storytelling is innate to us; the ability to tell our own stories is so valuable.

As for my future in the industry, Iʼd love to direct or work in the camera or editing departments. I hope to gain more general knowledge about the filmmaking industry and apply my skills in new ways to projects and assignments we do. I think the digital-only format will allow me to become more creative with how I think of and create content.

I have immensely enjoyed my experience so far in the program and am looking forward to what is in store for us in the coming weeks!

Faith Gore

Faith Gore

Tansi, Aniin Boozhoo. I am a Cree Ojibwe filmmaker and artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a proud member of Norway House Cree Nation. My mother is Ojibwe from Winnipeg and Pine Creek First Nation while my father is Cree from Norway House.

I am a graduate of Technical Vocational (Tec-Voc) High School where I learned graphic communications and design. I have always had an interest in filmmaking – when I graduated in 2016 I took it upon myself to pursue a career in the film industry as a director, editor, writer and
actor. I returned to Tec-Voc to earn my certification in broadcast media arts in their post-high program. During my time there I acquired training and hands-on experience through working on projects and productions within Tec-Voc.

I have always been one to apply myself to workshops and programs regarding film, such as youth mentorships with places like Creative Arts Manitoba and an apprenticeship at Justice Television (Just TV) at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre.

When the opportunity came my way to apply for CBC New Indigenous Voices I felt like it was a great way for me to hone my skills as well as a way to connect with fellow Indigenous filmmakers and content creators like myself. As an aspiring screenwriter, I am hungry for knowledge on how to plan and execute my vision. Through this program I hope to develop these skills.

My lived experiences of urban and reserve life as an Indigenous woman have shaped me into the artist I am today. My ultimate goal in this industry is to be a creator. I want to write and direct films, TV shows and short stories.

I have a passion for truthful storytelling and representation of Indigenous stories. It is my mission to bring creative and honest stories to the world.

This pandemic has changed our society in so many ways. In these difficult times we must learn to adapt. I am grateful for the people from NSI that have worked hard for the students to keep us safe and for making our online learning experience possible. Thank you, meegwetch!

Kyler Harper

Kyler Harper

Hello! I am a 22-year old male from St. Theresa Point reservation. My main interest in filmmaking is the power to tell stories through visual art. Depending on the topic it could either deliver an important message, change how you see things, make you think of your own ways, or even a way to inspire other people to follow what they are pursuing.

Back in elementary (around 2012 I think), I was one of the few students picked to attend and learn acting and perform on stage at Manitoba Theatre for Young People. This was an interesting road for me to travel down but it was fun and I kept going. After learning acting I became interested in filmmaking and how to convey all those emotions on a screen instead of a stage. I began going to Winnipeg Film Group (WFG) when I was in grade eight thanks to a drop-in centre I used to go to. I loved going to WFG as they had equipment I’d never seen in person.

I spent four years going to WFG and loved every second. During my last year of high school CEDA Pathways and Video Pool created a conjoined program called the Indigenous Media Arts Initiative. We were taught more and were paired with mentors. My mentor was Luther Alexander, a great mentor, friend and alumnus of this program. I spent two years with Video Pool being mentored by great people all round.

I applied for CBC New Indigenous Voices for countless and obvious reasons. I wanted to pursue my dream; I wanted to better my writing skills; I wanted to look at films in a different light; but one main reason is I want to redeem myself to my mentor.

In my second to last year at Video Pool I was distracted with applying for this program and didn’t finish what I was supposed to do with the initiative. I fell behind. I didn’t finish my work. I was rejected from the program at the time. I then fell into a deep depression, lost motivation and lost myself. I kept spiraling down a dark path because of it.

During the two years of my depression I slowly found myself as CEDA Pathways helped give me some work with their program Building Bridges Breaking Barriers. Through this project I started to feel like myself again. I then asked if I could help with the program [even more]. While interacting with the camera, handling equipment during set-up and take down I felt like I was where I belonged with this stuff. During those two years from 2018 to 2020 I have found myself again on paper and in me.

[Through the program] I want to find more of myself because I feel like I’m still missing pieces of myself. I’m yearning to learn more about storytelling, how to keep my staff happy on set and how to properly put my voice on paper and on screen.

The kind of thing I’m looking for in this industry is my place on a set no matter the job. Being a jack-of-all-trades isn’t a thing for everyone but I want to learn all I can so I can teach others either as a mentor or a teacher.

The first time meeting the other students I felt a little scared as I didn’t know how any of them would be, but after the first week I feel really relaxed now knowing we all have a passion we’re striving for. Like me, everyone here has a history and I can’t wait to be part of someone else’s history even if I’m one of the side characters. Thank you, and be safe out there. Love yea all.

Janell Henry

Janell Henry

I am an Ojibwe mother from Roseau River First Nation. I currently live in Transcona, Winnipeg with partner Chuck and two sons, Blake and Alex. I am 29 and I am Deer Clan.

My passion for art drives me to embrace as much as this city has to offer. I began interning for my reserve’s radio station CKOP 100.5 Renegade Radio. As a teen, I volunteered a lot at many local festivals and events doing ticket, merchandise sales and promotions.

After graduating high school in southern Manitoba, I moved to Winnipeg to attend post-secondary – first in media arts and then continued my studies in the communications and psychology departments at the University of Winnipeg.

Over the last 10 years I’ve worked on many projects with organizations such as Red Road Lodge, Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival, A Good Fool is Hard to Find Blues Festival and Winnipeg Trails Association.

My first area of interest is in story development and producing. I am interested in starting a podcast that is journalistic in nature through quality and credibility. My second area of interest is production design, set orientation and editing.

Also on my bucket list (and hopefully coming my way sooner, rather than later) is to produce a music video. I’ve been wanting to start my own business for a few years now doing A/V production, consulting and management. I want to register the business by the end of the year and am just thinking of a name. But I still question the suitable protocols for Indigenous perspectives in a production setting. I hope to gain a stronger network in production communities that I can turn to with these questions.

In this program, I expect to strengthen my storytelling skills and writing to make that podcast. I expect to learn about directing to do that music video. I expect to answer key questions about the next steps in my business development to continue on confidently.

Our initial start date has been pushed back this year because of COVID-19 but that only gave NSI more time to prepare for our group. While we are the guinea pigs for the new [learning portal] and this new online format supporting physical distancing, we are also very comfortable as we’re learning a ton of new things in a short amount of time. We also have ‘Zoom breaks’ which helps out a lot too since the computer screen is our life for the first month of the program. I’ve found that I can even squeeze in some exercise on my wheel (in my exercise room during our one-hour lunch break).

I know the upcoming weeks will go by just as fast as this year’s summer did so I am happy that NSI has taken their leadership role seriously and put in the extra work to keep CBC New Indigenous Voices running in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nathaniel Magbanua

Nathaniel Magbanua

My name is Nathaniel Jordan Magbanua and I’m a 22-year old First Nations student living in the North End of Winnipeg. I am a member of Swan Lake First Nation and am currently attending my second year of studies at the University of Winnipeg, pursuing a bachelor of arts degree.

I’m an independent filmmaker with a keen interest in the art of cinematography. From a young age I’ve always admired films for their ability to convey stories through the moving image of a lens. During my teenage years I first discovered my love for working behind the camera by making silly comedies on YouTube with my friends during my spare time.

In 2018 I attended studies and graduated at Herzing College where I earned a diploma in radio and TV broadcasting. During my time there I learned a variety of skills in videography and broadcasting, which I still apply to various aspects of my life today. Through the program I was introduced to Jesse Green, director and producer of STRONGFRONT.tv, who mentored and trained me to become a production assistant and video editor at a professional level. Through his internship I was able to gain a vast amount experience in both shooting and editing documentaries, wedding videos, live concerts and various other tasks in the field. I was also introduced to the Adam Beach Film Institute, where I was able to gain skills and experience with planning and shooting a short film with a small crew for the first time.

I eventually chose to further my education and decided to attend studies at the University of Winnipeg in late 2019 to pursue a career in the art of filmmaking. My long-term goal is to eventually write and direct my own feature films so I too can one day tell stories that leave an impact on the world, like the many directors and films that have inspired me.

I applied for this program to improve my knowledge of the film industry and [have] the opportunity to network and collaborate with other like-minded individuals in the field. I hope to get to know everyone over the next few weeks and eventually work together to make some fun stuff in the near future.

Adjusting to everything moving to an online format has been quite a different experience from how things used to be before the pandemic started, but I’m glad to continue learning and connecting with everyone over the ‘net. So far, my time with the program has been a great experience starting out and I’m super excited to learn all the great things our coordinators have planned.

Matthew Tenute

Aniin, Boozhoo! Hello! My Anishinaabemowin name is Degwaagi Biidassigen Ngik Nini which means Autumn/Fall Sunshine Otter Man.

I grew up on the unceded traditional Territory of the Algonquin people in so-called Ottawa, Ontario, but I come from Neyaashiinigmiing, Anishinaabe Territory (Cape Croker First Nation) located in south western Ontario. I’ve been living in Vancouver for the past eight years and worked in the film industry for just under two years. Recently I made the big move across Turtle Island to be closer to family and now live in Ontario.

Through this opportunity I hope to gain first-hand experience in the film industry, build my capacity in the realm of documentary filmmaking and become confident enough to one day direct a series of short films in partnership with Indigenous communities. I am interested in topics such as Indigenous storytelling, sports, traditional ways of living and being, community events and the artistic elements of filmmaking. I want to help shape the way we as Indigenous people tell our stories.

My most recent experience in the film industry involved working as a lamp technician. I have also worked alongside camera ops, directors, sound techs and dolly grips.

In the past I have directed and edited music videos for local bands throughout Turtle Island. My favorite part of the film industry is being part of a large team and working together to bring life to a story. In this program, I am most excited about being able to learn from other Indigenous people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and worldviews.

Despite being separated from one another, I already feel like I’ve built meaningful relationships with the other [CBC New Indigenous Voices] students and instructors. I am looking forward to seeing how we all continue to learn in a virtual space.

AJ Wastasecoot

I am a queer Cree and Anishinaabe filmmaker from Winnipeg and Peguis First Nation, Manitoba. I graduated from the 2018 Nu Media Film Program, which allowed me to gain pre-production, on-set and post-production experience for a variety of projects.

In 2018, I made my directorial debut with VICE Media. I’ve mostly worked on documentaries but I’m eager to explore creative writing and podcasting. I applied for this program because I wanted to refamiliarize myself with the industry, expand my knowledge and be better equipped to share my stories.

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CBC New Indigenous Voices is funded by Title, Presenting and Tuition Sponsor CBC; Program Partners Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage, the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD), Telefilm Canada; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment, Super Channel; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Supporters IATSE Local 856imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; Service Sponsors iSplice Films, Final Draft. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

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