Episode 9: Today’s Indigenous futures — culture edition

Below is the radio broadcast of the episode — we beeped a few choice words on this version. The unbeeped version can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and the myriad other places you might listen to podcasts. You can subscribe to the show while you are enjoying the curse words and while you are doing that please rate and share with your friends! As always, if you have an idea of a person or project we should feature, let us know by email.

Music featured in this episode:

Kigitan Zibin Anishinabeg (KZ)

KZ is a community part of the Algonquin First Nation. To learn more about the community click here. To learn more about the Algonquin First Nation click here.

Cheryl showing her excitement as we approach the Pow Wow location, near KZ school

People interviewed

Gilbert Whiteduck is member of KZ, and celebrated activist for First Nations rights. He was elected Chief in 2008 until 2015. Learn more about the history of chiefs of KZ here.

Anita Tenasco is Director of KZ’s Education Sector (K.Z.E.S.) and member of KZ. Learn more about the education sector here.

Rene Racine is a member of the KZ community. He’s a dancer and drummer at the annual Pow Wow.

Rene Racine in action

Julianne Dumont is a member of KZ, a student at Carleton University, works part-time at the Maniwaki Native Friendship Center as well as a substitute teacher.

Julianne Dumont and her friend Hunter

Jay Odjick — the man of many hats:

  • Black flies is a children’s book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Jay.
  • Kagagi — what started as a graphic novel, became the TV show produced by Jay available on APTN. You can get posters, the graphic novel and more Kagagi stuff here.
  • For the Algonquin word of the day, you can purchase some of Jay’s posters or follow him on Twitter where he uses the hashtag #AWOTD. You can also read about it in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) reporting of Jay’s initiative.
  • You can find and shop for more of his work here.

Skawennati was born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, and holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she is based. You can learn more about her work on her awesome webpage here.

Skawennati is Co-Director, with Jason E. Lewis, of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Indigenous virtual environments. Learn more about their projects here.

The audio quality for our interview with Skawennati was subpar due to a condition known as “PhD student brain fog” and we reluctantly cut some of the audio that was way too fuzzy to repair/include. There is a quote we want to share with you however, so we will share it here. We asked her about including elements of love in her work — why it was important for her to depict her characters in love:

“You hardly ever see Native people in love or as fully formed beings. You know, I feel silly sometimes saying… love is THE BOMB. It’s kind of the thing, right? If you are lucky enough to experience love — it really is something to pursue. It’s a feeling to pursue and to cultivate. Because the answer lies in love. The answer to our problems lies in love. I mean, it sounds like the Bible — but it also sounds like the Peacemaker from the Confederacy story. Imagine what could happen if we treat our neighbors as family — you know actually ‘love thy neighbor’!
I think people are afraid to talk about love — it’s also mythical. It’s the domain of Hollywood, romantic comedies, or women’s novels — you know —it’s girly. One of the things I’m noticing, thanks to all the work feminists have done over the generations… now we can bring things that are in our domain and talk about them confidently and without apology…. I’M TALKING ABOUT LOVE…. (also mermaids)…”

For our interview with Skawennati, we used a lot of sound from She Falls for Ages. You can watch the whole machinima here: