September 3, 2020 – The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) has announced some significant changes to its CBC New Indigenous Voices training program as well as the incoming class of students for the 2020 edition, launching September 8.
The 14-week, full-time program aimed at accelerating the careers of Canada’s Indigenous creators has been redesigned for the realities of 2020. NSI has elevated what has historically been a classroom-based learning model to a dynamic, customized online program.
Created with the same knowledge and sensitivity to cultural traditions that have been the foundation of this program for over 15 years, this year’s edition is also led by an entirely Indigenous team for the first time.
Former associate program manager Kaya Wheeler has been promoted and is now taking on the management of the program in her new position as program manager.
“CBC New Indigenous Voices has a solid track record of connecting Indigenous creators across Canada with high-level industry professionals and career opportunities,” said NSI program manager Kaya Wheeler. “Faced with the challenges of COVID-19 we wanted to reimagine the program in a way that provided those same opportunities while also giving students a meaningful and supportive experience.”
“NSI approached that challenge with a really positive energy allowing us to significantly evolve the program for an online environment. We worked with our partners at CBC and our incredible faculty to bring this experience to life. We selected a stellar group of students back in April so they’re itching to get started and NSI is ready to get the creativity flowing and set them on the path to career success.”
The entire curriculum is being delivered online through a customized learning portal so students from across Canada can attend from the safety of their homes. Online classes begin Tuesday, September 8 with a sharing circle led by Anishnaabe Elder Colin Mosseau with NSI Indigenous programs advisor Lisa Meeches.
NSI warmly welcomes the 2020 CBC New Indigenous Voices students.
- Seth Arcand (Morinville, AB)
- Sarah Carrier (Regina, SK)
- Faith Gore (Winnipeg, MB)
- Janelle Henry (Winnipeg, MB)
- Nathaniel Magbanua (Winnipeg, MB)
- Matthew Tenute (Vancouver, BC)
- AJ Wastasecoot (Winnipeg, MB)
“CBC is proud to champion this important NSI program which supports and develops Indigenous creators by providing them with relevant and customized learning and mentorship opportunities to deepen their experience and advance their careers,” said Sally Catto, General Manager of Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “We look forward to the contributions this year’s group of storytellers will make to our industry.”
NSI faculty honoured this year’s students with individual welcome packages mailed to their homes. The packages included items such as sage, tobacco, an abalone shell, tea and, of course, hand sanitizer.
Workshops during phase 1 of the program will cover Indigenous history, story development, directing, producing, pitching and more.
Another significant change this year is the introduction of podcast development and production.
Typically, students pitch a short film project and team up to produce three films but, due to safety considerations around in-person filming, the focus will be on storytelling through audio. Students will still create a short video piece as part of training which will serve as an accompaniment to the podcast.
NSI will be arranging customized internships for the final phase of the program. Students receive minimum wage throughout the full 14 weeks of training.
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: Shane Belcourt, Justina Neepin, Ryan Cooper and JJ Neepin.
CBC New Indigenous Voices is led by program manager Kaya Wheeler with Indigenous programs and administrative assistant Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill. NSI’s Indigenous training programs advisor is Lisa Meeches.
Films created through the program have gone on to screen at festivals throughout Canada and the US. And graduates continue to find success. In August 2020, Melanie Hadley Nepinak and Adeline Bird were featured in an episode of CTV’s The Social aimed at amplifying Indigenous women’s voices with Melanie moderating a panel and Adeline producing the show. Earlier this year Damian Frazee was announced as a recipient of the Indigenous Investigative Journalism Fellowship by The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and APTN.
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 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 this year’s students
Seth is an aspiring filmmaker and photographer from the Kipohtakaw Cree Nation. Seth recently convocated from the Concordia University of Edmonton with a degree in English. Seth has worked on short films, documentaries, and has directed and assisted numerous photo series. Focusing on stories from his youth, Seth looks to create positive narratives of Indigenous peoples.
Sarah is a member of Piapot First Nation and was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan.
She completed her film production diploma at the Recording Arts Institute in Saskatoon and is currently studying political science and journalism at the University of Regina.
Sarah has a strong interest in both fictional and documentary storytelling and hopes to pursue directing or writing in the future. She’s looking forward to developing her skills in all aspects of film during the program.
Faith is a Cree Ojibwe filmmaker and artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba and a proud member of Norway House Cree Nation. She is a graduate of Technical Vocational High School (Tec-Voc), where she took graphic design and broadcasting communications.
Faith’s valuable experience of urban and reserve life has shaped her into the artist she is today, inspiring her to bring truthful storytelling and representation in her art. It is her mission to bring creative and honest stories to the world.
She is always seeking to learn various aspects of film, media and storytelling and looks forward to being part of the CBC New Indigenous Voices program and collaborating with fellow Indigenous filmmakers.
Janell Henry is an Ojibwe from the Roseau River First Nation (Manitoba.) She completed high school at Institut Collegial de St-Pierre in Manitoba in 2009.
Janell’s media experiences started in 2008 as an intern at CKOP 100.5 FM Renegade Rez Radio in her home community.
In 2012, Janell graduated from The Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts (MOSMA) then continued her studies in the psychology and rhetoric, writing and communications departments at the University of Winnipeg. During that time Janell founded The Medicine Wheel of Music promoting Indigenous music airing Sunday mornings on CKUW 95.9 FM.
In 2013, Janell was the live sound engineer for A Good Fool is Hard to Find Blues Festival, a daylong lineup of Indigenous blues musicians.
In 2017, she curated a performance for Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival and the next year worked for the festival as technical assistant.
Janell was the curatorial assistant at Urban Shaman Gallery from 2013 to 2019 and currently sits on the board of directors at La Maison des artistes visuels francophones.
Just before coming to CBC Indigenous New Voices 2020, Janell was the project manager for Winnipeg Trails Association Healing Trails Project as well as the project coordinator at Red Road Lodge for the Story Posts project.
Nathaniel is a member of Swan Lake First Nation, born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is well experienced in the field as a cinematographer / video editor and is currently attending his first year of filmmaking at The University of Winnipeg.
Matt is an aspiring film and documentary filmmaker currently living in Vancouver, BC.
He spent most of his time growing up in Ottawa, Ontario but hails from Neyaashiinigmiing, Anishinaabe Territory located in south western Ontario.
Currently, he works as a film lighting technician on various sets throughout Vancouver.
Matt looks forward to one day directing short films and documentaries that will elevate the voices and stories of Indigenous communities and inspire our future generations.
AJ Wastasecoot (Crow Man) is a Cree/Anishinaabe, queer, trans filmmaker from Treaty 1 territory. A graduate of the 2018 Nu Media Film Program, AJ has interned with Nu Media Films and collaborated with VICE Media and CBC.