Lisa Meeches, Indigenous Training Programs Advisor
Lisa Meeches is one of the most dynamic and respected producers in the film industry and is Anishinaabe from Long Plain First Nation.
After studying broadcasting in North Dakota, Lisa began her career in 1986 with the Native Media Network. She later began news reporting for Craig Broadcasting Systems in Manitoba and Alberta, where she established a liaison team who connected the newsroom with surrounding First Nations communities.
Her journalism career recently came full circle with a Beyond Borders Media Award for her work on Taken as co-creator, executive producer and host, for which Lisa has also been nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards (best factual series, best cross platform project). Lisa is also an episode director on the series.
She is the founding partner and executive producer of Eagle Vision, the most prolific production company in Canadian history with Indigenous ownership.
Lisa has produced numerous projects to critical acclaim including The Sharing Circle, Canada’s longest running Indigenous television series; Ice Road Truckers; Tipi Tales, a Parent’s Choice award-winning children’s series; and Elijah, a Gemini Award-winning MOW; and the three-time nominated, two-time CSA winner for JACK.
She executive produced the four-time CSA nominee and two-time winner We Were Children, which is widely praised by residential school survivors for its power to heal, while general audiences have been moved by its accurate and truthful portrayal of the impacts of Canada’s colonial past. Prior to this project, Lisa travelled the country with her team interviewing residential school survivors about their experiences for the Legacy of Hope project.
Most recently Lisa served as creative director/executive producer for the National MMIWG Inquiry. Her work was honoured with two gold medals at the international Shorty Awards for excellence in social media. Other Eagle Vision Inc. productions include the comedies Lovesick, Walk All Over Me, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and sold to the Weinstein Company, the politically-charged romantic comedy Blue State, and the Academy Award®-winning feature film Capote. Lisa is co-executive producer on the CBC/eOne series Burden of Truth.
Lisa also devotes considerable time to other causes. She has been critical to the success of the Manito Ahbee Festival since its inception 15 years ago where she has acted in the capacity of board chair on a volunteer basis until recently stepping down to assume the role of executive director.
True to her heritage, Lisa is a renowned champion fancy shawl dancer. Lisa is executive producer of Orange Daisy Project, a social action campaign in support of mental health for teen girls. Among her numerous awards and nominations are: 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communication, 2009 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the area of Creative Communications, University of Manitoba’s Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award, Women in Film and Television 2009 Crystal Award for Mentorship, Order of Manitoba, and she was even Ms. Chatelaine.
Lisa is also an alumna of NSI.
Kaya Wheeler, Program Manager
Kaya works across many of NSI’s courses and helps run the day-to-day activities of CBC New Indigenous Voices and NSI IndigiDocs.
Kaya graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelor of arts in Indigenous studies, and has been working within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg for more than 10 years. She has spent a large portion of this time working with Indigenous youth in many areas, including acting and storytelling for theatre. She has had experience both volunteering and working on film sets, and even had a small stint on the stage and in front of the camera.
Kaya is excited to be in a role that helps hone and amplify new and existing voices in the industry.
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Program Manager + Director Advisor
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Bihttoš (Rebel), c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) is the co-manager of NSI IndigiDocs. Elle-Máijá is also the director advisor for the program.
Elle-Máijá’s films have screened at various international film festivals, and she is recognized for her work rooted in social justice. Accolades include a Kodak Image Award, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award as an emerging filmmaker. She was named one of CBC’s “Young Indigenous Leaders: 5 Under 30 To Watch in 2015 and her autobiographical short film Bihttoš (Rebel) was named one of the Top Ten short films at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It was also awarded best documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2015.
At the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival, Elle-Máijá and co-director Kathleen Hepburn received the Best BC Film Award for The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. She also won the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award, Toronto Film Critics Association and Vancouver Film Critics Circle best Canadian film awards as well as two Canadian Screen Awards for best directing and writing.
Elle-Máijá is a member of the Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe, Blackfoot Confederacy) as well as Sámi from Norway.
Shane Belcourt, Story Advisor
Shane Belcourt is a two-time CSA-nominated director, with award-winning narrative and documentary works in both film and TV. His debut feature film Tkaronto had a theatrical release, was sold to Super Channel and Air Canada, and was showcased in both the TIFF Indigenous Cinema Retrospective and the UCLA Film & Television Archive travelling exhibition, Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema.
Shane also directed Chanie Wenjack which Walrus Magazine noted as “the Heritage Minute Canada needs to see.” His most recent feature film Red Rover premiered at Whistler Film Festival, opened the Canadian Film Festival and was released in March 2020 to glowing reviews.
On the documentary side, Shane directed Kaha:wi which features dancer and choreographer Santee Smith. It premiered at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, aired on APTN and CBC Docs, and won a CSC award for best cinematography in 2016, along with a CSA best director nomination.
Shane co-directed (with Lisa Jackson) the CBC one-hour Indictment: The Crimes Of Shelly Chartier which won best doc at imagineNATIVE. Shane recently created and released a new 13-part music documentary series Amplify which is available to watch on APTN lumni. He was a consulting producer (writing room story editor) on the drama series Trickster currently airing on CBC.
Shane is in development to direct a feature documentary Beautiful Scars for TVO and Sky Network on internationally acclaimed songwriter Tom Wilson, and a feature narrative based around a family tale entitled Dumbbell which received development funding from Telefilm Canada.
Shane is an alumnus of TIFF Talent Lab and NSI Totally Television, and a member of the Directors Guild of Canada.
Past associate faculty
- Shane Belcourt* – Writer/director
- Andy Blicq – Writer/director/producer
- Bob Culbert – Broadcaster
- Sturla Gunnersson – Writer/director/producer
- Rosanna Deerchild – Broadcaster/podcast creator
- Kelley Fry – Research and clearances
- Tasha Hubbard* – Writer/director/producer
- Ivan Hughes – Editor/director
- Ryzard Hunka – Writer/director
- Anita Lubosch – Sound technician
- Shelley McDougall – APTN
- Jon Montes – NFB
- Lisa Jackson* – Writer/director
- Elizabeth Klinck – Research and clearances
- Paul Popeski – Lawyer
- Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler – Winnipeg Film Group
- Cecil Rosner – CBC
- Michelle St. John* – Producer
- Alicia Smith – NFB
- Steven Sxwithul’txw* – Mentor
- Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers – Writer/director/producer
- Esther Viragh – NFB
- Jordan Wheeler – Writer
- Kerri Woloszyn – Production manager
*Indicates NSI alumni
• • •
NSI IndigiDocs is funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and RBC Emerging Artists Project; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Boot Camp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Strategic Sponsor documentary Channel; Supporting Sponsors Telefilm Canada, Super Channel, CBC Gem and Corus Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Service Sponsor Line 21 Media. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. More sponsors to be added as confirmed.