I have a mission statement in life: "share stories that increase an understanding of Aboriginal peoples here and around the world".
My story began when I was adopted as a Cree child, by the Rajotte family in Winnipeg in the 1960's. From that decade until the early 1980's, thousands of Indigenous children were adopted into non-Indigenous, middle class homes. This era has become known as the "60s Scoop."
As a child, I had big dreams to become a television journalist. After high school, I attended the University of Manitoba where I was usually the only Aboriginal person in my university classes.
In the 1990's I was a television reporter for CBC's The National covering everything from forest fires to a big prison riot in Winnipeg, and a documentary about native street gangs.
In 1998, the CBC asked me to work on a tv current affairs program called All My Relations, the first in Canada to focus on Indigenous issues.
I found my biological family in 2001 and the story of my journey to discover my roots and birth family is the subject of a documentary I have been working on for years.
In 1999, I left the CBC and started making independent documentaries. My first was Jaynelle: It's Never Easy to Escape the Past, the story of a young aboriginal mother living for two years on social assistance. To learn more about my independent documentary work, check out www.rajottedocs.com.
In 2001, I co-founded the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival with Jim Silver from the University of Winnipeg. We celebrate our 10th anniversary this year!!
In 2006, I established Vitality Television Inc. about healthy living. We have expanded the concept to "Vitality Gardening".
I have also written a screenplay based on my research around the 1960s scoop. Concrete Indian is the story of two brothers and their attempt to re-connect after being separated and adopted in the United States.
I am thrilled to work on the CBC's "8th Fire" series. It's the first time that CBC has embarked on a full documentary series about our issues in Canada. I was a producer for the episode entitled Indigenous in the City and am filing stories from across Canada for the website.
I have been reflecting on my life lately and I know I was meant to tell stories. As an older and wiser person, I see the full impact of colonization and I really think more has to be done to increase understanding about issues such as the intergenerational consequences of Residential Schools and the "1960s scoop".