Kaya Wheeler steps into new role, takes management lead on CBC New Indigenous Voices



Published by communications

The National Screen Institute (NSI) is pleased to announce Kaya Wheeler has been promoted to the position of program manager effective immediately and will take the management lead on CBC New Indigenous Voices, presented by NSI. The goal of the program is to accelerate the careers of Canada’s Indigenous filmmakers.

Kaya – of Anishnaabe and Nehiyaw descent – is a registered member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and began her employment with NSI in 2016 as Indigenous programs & administrative assistant providing support to Indigenous creators through NSI training programs.

In addition to managing CBC New Indigenous Voices, Kaya also co-manages the short documentary program NSI IndigiDocs and TELUS STORYHIVE projects with creators from British Columbia and Alberta.

Her promotion means that CBC New Indigenous Voices is now managed by an all-Indigenous team including current Indigenous programs & administrative assistant Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill and NSI Indigenous programs advisor Lisa Meeches.

“It’s an honour to work with Kaya and see her move into this new position,” said Joy Loewen, NSI CEO. “She’s worked incredibly hard during her time at NSI and is well deserving of the new role and title. Kaya steps into the position at an important time in the redesign of CBC New Indigenous Voices. Her work to transform a historically classroom-based curriculum into a dynamic, culturally sensitive online program is outstanding and marks a monumental shift for our organization.”

“Under her leadership she will connect Indigenous creators across Canada with high-level media industry professionals and career opportunities.”

“I am incredibly excited to be in a management role that allows me to help hone and amplify new and existing voices in the industry,” said Kaya. “I can’t wait for our students to begin the next edition of CBC New Indigenous Voices this September. Faced with the challenges of COVID-19 we wanted to reimagine the program in a way that provided the same career and networking opportunities as in previous years while also giving students a meaningful and supportive experience.”

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 performing on stage and in front of the camera.

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About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

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.

We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, 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.

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Rachel Young, Outreach and Engagement Lead

The National Screen Institute is supported by: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUSTelefilm Canada; Patron: CBC; Builders: APTNBell Media; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & MusicRBC Emerging Artists Projectdocumentary ChannelCBC GemCentre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD)Indigenous Screen Office (ISO)Canada Media Fund (CMF)The Winnipeg Foundation, Super Channel; Industry Partner: National Film Board of Canada; Friends: StantecWilliam F. White InternationalCompany 3.