The National Screen Institute warmly welcomes the CBC New Indigenous Voices class of 2021 as training begins

Top row from left: Anonda Canadien, Ariyah Pierre, Jordan Kelly, Holly Smith, Brittany Monkman; bottom row: Aiyana Hart, Logan Nadeau, Desiree Brightnose, John Wapioke

Top row from left: Anonda Canadien, Ariyah Pierre, Jordan Kelly, Holly Smith, Brittany Monkman; bottom row: Aiyana Hart, Logan Nadeau, Desiree Brightnose, John Wapioke

Training gets underway this week for the nine students selected for the 2021 edition of CBC New Indigenous Voices, presented by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI).

CBC New Indigenous Voices is a full-time, 14-week online training program for Indigenous creators aged 18 to 35 to build their media careers and learn the essential elements of working in the film, TV and digital media industries.

The curriculum is designed with traditional and spiritual elements. Minimum wage is paid throughout and each student works with mentors to produce and edit a short podcast as part of training.

Students were selected by program faculty, in consultation with an Elder and industry representatives. NSI welcomes the 2021 CBC New Indigenous Voices students.

  • Desiree Brightnose (Chemawawin Cree Nation / Winnipeg)
  • Anonda Canadien (Deh Gáh Got’îê First Nation / Northwest Territories)
  • Aiyana Hart (Carry the Kettle First Nation / Winnipeg)
  • Jordan Kelly (Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation / Ontario)
  • Brittany Monkman (Fisher River Cree Nation / Winnipeg)
  • Logan Nadeau (Norway House Cree Nation / Winnipeg)
  • Ariyah Pierre (Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation / Winnipeg)
  • Holly Smith (Six Nations Reserve / Toronto)
  • John Wapioke (Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation / Winnipeg)

Following the successful switch to a digital teaching platform in 2020, the 2021 edition is being delivered online allowing students to attend from the safety of their homes.

“2021 was a record-breaking year for applications to CBC New Indigenous Voices. The incredible applicants this year made choosing the final nine very hard,” said NSI program manager Kaya Wheeler. “We are humbled by the experiences and interest of everyone who applied and shared their stories with us – thank you. The class of 2021 are certainly ones to watch as they further develop their storytelling skills and build their media careers.”

“CBC continues to be incredibly proud to champion this important program which serves and helps develop the gifts of Indigenous creators in Canada through personalized learning and mentorship experiences,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “We are honoured to support their journey within the creative media industries.”

National Screen Institute faculty honoured students with individual welcome packages mailed to their homes. The packages included items such as sage, tobacco, tea and, of course, hand sanitizer.

Training is delivered in three phases:

Phase 1 (May to July) – Skills development

Phase 2 (July) – Podcast development and production

Phase 3 (July to September) – Customized industry internship

The program culminates with a graduation ceremony on Zoom in September.

Associate faculty this year include Jordan Wheeler, Jeff Newman, Julie Hackett, Andrew Forbes and Anita Lubosch. A number of alumni will return to NSI to also share their knowledge with this new group of storytellers, including: JJ Neepin.

Lisa Meeches is the NSI Indigenous training programs advisor. CBC New Indigenous Voices is led by program manager Kaya Wheeler and program coordinator Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill. This year, we’re honoured to welcome Erica Daniels as program advisor. Erica is a graduate of the program.

NSI programs equip students with the necessary skills for a successful career in film, TV and digital media.

In the past year, CBC New Indigenous Voices grads have received recognition, including Ryan Cooper selected as one of Playback‘s 10 to Watch for 2020; Darcy Waite joining the The Canadian Media Producers Association board of directors, Cheyenne Bruneau hired as program manager of NSI Art of Business Management – Indigenous Edition; and Adeline Bird who received a $10K pitch development grant from the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Amazon Prime Video.

About the National Screen Institute

Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

At NSI we serve and help develop the gifts of Indigenous creators.

The National Screen Institute is committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women-identifying, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

CBC New Indigenous Voices 2021 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; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Supporters IATSE Local 856, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Film Training Manitoba; Service Sponsors iSplice Films, Final Draft. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Meet the CBC New Indigenous Voices class of 2021

Desiree Brightnose

Desiree Brightnose

Telling a story has always been a way for Desiree Brightnose to express her vision of the world.

Desiree is a proud Indigenous woman from Treaty 5’s Chemawawin Cree Nation as well as the CEO and founder of Tilted Teepee Productions.

Graduating in 2020 as Valedictorian from Assiniboine Community College’s interactive media arts – media specialization program, Desiree combines her knowledge of digital media and storytelling to create compelling stories focusing on her culture as well as Indigenous rights and issues.

When she is not behind a camera, Desiree enjoys playing video games, drawing, singing, and spending time with her fiance Billy and her dog Nova. Fuelled by her passion to learn more about the creative arts, she continues to hone her skills to become successful in her respective field.

Anonda Canadien

Anonda Canadien

Anonda Canadien is Dehcho Dene from Deh Gáh Got’îê First Nation of Denendeh. Having been born and raised in her culture has given her an appreciation for her home, the people and the land.

Creativity plays a big role in her life and she expresses herself through her beading, sewing and storytelling.

Aiyana Hart

Aiyana Hart

Hello/Tansi. My name is Aiyana Hart and my pronouns are she/her. I am a Nakoda/Cree makeup artist and I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I am a proud member of the Ceg-A-Kin (Carry-The Kettle) Nakoda First Nation in Saskatchewan where my mother is from. I also recognize my father’s home fire Nisichawayasihk (Nelson House) Cree Nation.

I am a graduate of Sisler High School class of 2019. In school I was involved in art classes and full contact sports. I have a passion for the arts, football, rugby, wrestling and kickboxing. My involvement in sports has taught me leadership, discipline, patience and respect. The lack of sports during the pandemic gave me time to reflect on myself, my goals and my career path.

In 2020, I took a two-day online course with film makeup artist Alisha Talbot through Film Training Manitoba. The course peaked my interest so I took another online course at McCollege and received my makeup artistry certificate.

At the beginning of 2021, I was approached by a mentor who knew about my skills as a makeup artist and hired me for a film she was producing. This led to a job as an assistant makeup artist for Nina McArthur in two more films.

In 2018, myself and my family were a part of a series called First Contact which was produced by Animiki See Digital Productions and aired on APTN. And in 2020, I was an extra on CBC series Burden of Truth.

In 2017, I was part of a documentary called the Orange Daisy Project which was produced by Eagle Vision Productions. Through the Orange Daisy Project, I became a keynote speaker and ambassador promoting positive mental health for teenagers.

I have always had a creative eye, so putting my love of art and makeup together has been my passion. I fell in love with the atmosphere of film production and decided I wanted to learn more about the film industry.  When the opportunity came to apply for the CBC New Indigenous Voices program, I knew this was a great way to expand my knowledge in the field of film production. This experience can only enhance my artistry and open new doors.

Jordan Kelly

Jordan Kelly

Jordan is a director and cinematographer from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation in northwestern Ontario.

Jordan graduated from digital film production at Sault College in 2017 and right after he attended Durham College’s advanced filmmaking program in Oshawa, Ontario. He graduated in October 2018.

During his time at Durham College, Jordan attended the Doc Accelerator for Emerging Filmmakers program at Hot Docs International Film Festival.

Jordan has made over half a dozen short films, both scripted and unscripted. Jordan is currently focusing on documentary projects, both short and feature-length.

Brittany Monkman

Brittany Monkman

Brittany has Cree and Ojibway in part of her background and grew up on the land of Old Peguis, north of Selkirk (with a brief stint in Gull Lake and Beausejour.)

As the youngest of four sisters, Brittany started out shy and reserved and looked up to all of her sisters as they were smart, creative and cool. Soon after graduating high school in 2008 she began to grow and become her own person as she moved and worked in Winnipeg – meeting new people and making connections as she worked around the city and then going on to begin her career in hairstyling in 2010.

She has always had a creative and artistic view of things which was apparent with her storytelling and wild imagination throughout the years.

The idea of filmmaking came around the time of her training because of the connections, stories and people she met in the industry. These experiences were key pieces of inspiration for creating story ideas for movies, television shows, short stories and skits.

As time went on Brittany began to look more into film work to get experience in the industry and worked doing hair for film as well as assisting in interviews for a small documentary project.

Being part of the filmmaking process is now more of a reality thanks to the CBC New Indigenous Voices program. Brittany is looking forward to learning more about the writing and directing areas of the program, she is excited to take part in the cultural and spiritual elements as reconnecting and discovering her heritage has been a life goal of hers.

Logan Nadeau

Logan Nadeau

My name is Logan Nadeau and I’m here to build upon my interest and knowledge in the film, television and digital media industries.

I always had a hunch I would have a career in entertainment and that includes being involved behind-the-scenes as well as on-stage. It was at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People when I got bit by the acting bug. Since then I have made it my goal to pursue things that challenge me creatively. Such endeavours include attending open-mic events around the city and joining programs like the Reel Youth Age Is More project where we combated ageism by interviewing residents at a retirement home.

Now that I have completed post-secondary studies, I look forward to getting the chance to develop my skills and gain valuable experience for the career I want to have.

Ariyah Pierre

Ariyah Pierre

Aniin! Ariyah Pierre nindizhnikaaz, I am a Filipino-Ojibwe woman aspiring to become a well-rounded writer, director and producer for film and TV.

I am entering my final year at the University of Winnipeg where I am completing my bachelor of arts degree in film with a minor in Indigenous studies.

My passion for visual storytelling through photography and filmography began during my high school years at Maples Collegiate Institute where I was given access to amazing mentors and experiences to support my interests as a creative. This followed into my university career where I was given the tools and guidance to further succeed in my passion.

I have an abundance of gratitude for my support system and mentors who have witnessed my growth from the start to this point of my career.

I live in Winnipeg, though my home community is Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, Manitoba and Isabela in the Philippines. I acknowledge and understand my privilege of growing up outside Roseau River and therefore I am constantly seeking knowledge about living on reserve and an opportunity to give back.

I hope that within my creative work I can share stories of the inequalities among the Indigenous people in Canada, empower Indigenous youth to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma, raise the importance of Indigenous women in decision-making processes for Canada and in general showcasing strong beautiful women.

I also hope that my creative work stays true to my Filipino-Ojibwe heritage, as well as my love of music, food, dance and the natural world.

I find comfort in my culture and I am thankful that my family immersed me in a diverse environment while I grew up in predominantly Western education systems. I am really anticipating the knowledge I will receive from the CBC New Indigenous Voices program, and how I will further interpret it into my work.

My professor Andrew Forbes introduced me to the program. He is the mentor I look up to most and has been supporting my success as a filmmaker for years. I am certain that by committing myself to the program I will understand what I want my work to represent, and become more confident in my career as a writer, director and producer.

I am eager to learn under the knowledge of industry professionals such as Lisa Meeches and other strong Indigenous creatives, and I feel grateful to have access to this opportunity. I believe that one of the most important factors to storytelling is how you share an experience with one another; visual storytelling gives me a chance to share the knowledge of an experience through my own lens. The teachings that I look forward to receiving within this program will guide me towards a respectful and professional production of these experiences. Miigwetch!

Holly Smith

Holly Smith

Holly Smith is Kanien’keha:ka from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory currently living in Toronto.

She is an aspiring filmmaker with a passion for storytelling and creative self-expression. As a former occupational therapist in the mental health and addictions field, Holly grew interested in exploring how film could be incorporated as an avenue for healing by building upon intergenerational resiliency and strength.

She has an innate desire to understand, explore and challenge colonial narratives which impact her community and seeks to make connections with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people through the art of story.

Holly is also passionate about sharing stories, film and art from a queer Indigenous perspective where there is a severe lack of voices and representation.

John Wapioke

John Wapioke

John Wapioke is an Anishinaabe filmmaker from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

John has worked on numerous documentary and educational projects for various nonprofits and First Nations as a camera operator and an editor.

Recently he has moved into narrative filmmaking by writing and filming short films and taking on the role of cinematographer on small productions.

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