Unreserved: Reclaiming space and making room in indigenous Canada

In order to strengthen any community we must make room for everyone. That's not always easy. Unreserved looks at how to restore traditional views of Two-Spirit people and talks to up-and-coming filmmaker Elle-Maija Tailfeathers about her cross-cultural family.
Harlan Pruden says restoring the traditional importance of Two-Spirit people in First Nations culture will help LGBT First Nations youth come to terms with their sexuality. (Facebook)

In order to strengthen any community we must make room for everyone — and that's not always easy.

Growth can be slow and challenging; it means reaching out of your comfort zone and welcoming new possibilities, ideas, and perceptions. Even those that may make you uncomfortable.

It means reclaiming a space by those who had been erased or stepping back from old images to see the bigger picture. Sometimes it even means giving up the space for others to fill.

Today on Unreserved:

After eight days, a Toronto-based illustrator ends his project to tweet an image of a missing and murdered indigenous women once a day to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Evan Munday stopped the drawings after families raised concerns about the cartoon-like depictions.

Indigenizing the University of Regina: How future graduates will be more knowledgeable about First Nations history and culture thanks to university's new five-year strategic plan. Shauneen Pete speaks to us about how she aims to make the university more welcoming for indigenous students and culture.

Meanwhile, a Quebec community celebrates the return of one of the missing.

And reclaiming the roles of LGBTQ people in indigenous cultures: How a Cree man from Alberta is working to restore traditional views of Two-Spirit people.

Also, up-and-coming filmmaker Elle-Maija Tailfeathers talks about her short film Bihttos. The film examines the love story between her parents, a Blackfoot mother and Sami father, and the surprising twist that she discovered about her father.

We'll also hear music from: Don Amero, Leela Gilday, Billy Grind, Leonard Sumner and Lightening Cloud.

Tune into CBC Radio One after the 5 p.m. news in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut, and after the 4 p.m. news in Yukon and the N.W.T. for these stories and more on Unreserved. You can also listen on demand.

About the Author

Rosanna Deerchild is the host of Unreserved on CBC Radio One. She's an award-winning Cree author and has been a broadcaster for almost 20 years — including stints with APTN, CBC Radio, Global and a variety of indigenous newspapers. She hails from O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation, Man.


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