At the National Screen Institute, we’re thrilled to celebrate our alumni and their accomplishments. Through Focal Point we aim to highlight significant milestones our alumni achieve with their projects and in their careers.
Congratulations to Erica Daniels on her new role as a National Screen Institute program advisor for CBC New Indigenous Voices, presented by NSI.
Erica is a Cree/Ojibway filmmaker, entrepreneur and mother from Peguis First Nation. She began her industry training through the CBC New Indigenous Voices program in 2010, and has since gone on to complete other National Screen Institute programs such as NSI IndigiDocs and the inaugural Manitoba Content Creators Development Accelerator program.
By 2017, Erica had launched her own production company, Kejic Productions. She’s received prestigious awards such as the 2019 Indigenous Film Award at the Manito Ahbee Festival and the 2021 Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award from the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.
Erica’s current work includes the Manitoba 150 project The Seven Sacred Laws. This animated series is aimed at educating Manitobans about a set of traditional Indigenous teachings.
Gift to Give, her short film developed through NSI IndigiDocs, made its online premiere on July 22. The documentary follows a two-spirited Cree woman and her father as they undergo a major kidney transplant journey together.
In her new role as program advisor for CBC New Indigenous Voices, Erica will help mentor this year’s participants as they learn the essentials of filmmaking and complete their podcast projects. Taking on this important role is a full circle moment for Erica.
“I was once where they are,” she said. “I hope I can be a good mentor and provide advice from my own experience.”
Erica recalls how inspired she was by the incorporation of traditional and spiritual elements throughout her time in the program. She hopes she is a source of inspiration for this year’s students and conveys the importance of incorporating Indigenous culture and stories into their work.
“I want to inspire Indigenous young people to reconnect with their identity,” she said. “Our culture is so strong and we have so many stories to tell.”
Erica virtually met the students in early June and is looking forward to seeing the Manitoba participants in person during a visit to a sacred site later this summer (with COVID-19 protocols in place). She was inspired by the participants’ ideas and the camaraderie within the program.
“I’m excited to see what they will produce and where their careers will take them with the support of the National Screen Institute.”
Welcome to the team Erica! We are excited you’re here as you share your talents and expertise with this year’s participants.