The National Screen Institute (NSI) family would like to send best wishes to our friend and colleague, Kaya Wheeler, as she leaves her position with NSI and embarks on a new journey in her career with the Indigenous Screen Office.
Kaya, former program manager for NSI IndigiDocs and CBC New Indigenous Voices, has been an integral part of the NSI family for over five years. She grew up surrounded by filmmakers and storytellers, but this role was her first big step into the industry.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself here,” said Kaya. “I’m incredibly grateful to have spent the last five years with people who have been nothing but supportive and have always helped me build my skills.”
Kaya invested time and care into every student who went through her programs. Building friendships and providing a supportive environment was Kaya’s favourite part of the job.
“The participants are such a big part of my life,” said Kaya. “They become colleagues and friends. They continue [to be] in my life after they graduate and will continue [to be] in my life after I leave NSI.”
Helping to develop the gifts of Indigenous storytellers was at the heart of Kaya’s work with NSI. Her commitment shaped a community of creators who have gone on to transform the media industry. Going forward, she wants to continue amplifying the voices of Indigenous storytellers.
“Storytellers are amazing people. It’s incredibly important that Indigenous stories are told by Indigenous people,” said Kaya. “I want to make sure this stays a part of everything I do.”
As Kaya takes her next steps in the industry, she looks back on her years with NSI as a time of growth and friendship. The participants, staff and connections she formed along the way are what she will miss the most.
“It’s the definition of bittersweet. I’m sad to be leaving, but excited for the future!”
Congratulations, Kaya! Although your time as a staff member has come to an end, you’ll always be part of the NSI family. Wishing you good luck in your next role as outreach and program coordinator with the Indigenous Screen Office.
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Our programs are made possible with ongoing support from: Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUS, Telefilm Canada; Patron: CBC; Builders: APTN, Bell Media; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Manitoba Film & Music, RBC Emerging Artists Project, documentary Channel, CBC Gem, Centre 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: Stantec, William F. White International, Company 3.