Unreservedwith Rosanna Deerchild


Found sound: Archival recordings create connection to the past

They can be scratchy recordings on dusty vinyl, old cassettes in the corner of a storeroom, or wax cylinders carefully stored in a museum's archives. These fragile sounds can offer connections to history. Today on Unreserved, we're listening to found sound, archival recordings of Indigenous languages, songs and audio that captured a moment in time. 

Family, community, healing: Documentaries highlight personal journeys in First Nations

On a special episode of Unreserved this week, we share three documentaries — three personal journeys about family, community and the desire for healing.

William Prince on 'borrowing from future happiness' to write new album, Reliever

William Prince's Juno-winning debut, Earthly Days, earned him international attention. His second album, Reliever, was recorded in Nashville and Winnipeg, and he sat down with Rosanna Deerchild to talk about how things have changed.

'It tells a truth that has been kept secret': Children of God brings residential school story to the stage

A modern musical that sheds light on the painful experience of residential schools has broken new ground in Indigenous Canadian theatre. Children of God was eight years in the making, and is the passion piece of Oji-Cree playwright and composer Corey Payette.

Adopted at birth: one woman's decades-long search for her Indigenous family

A woman adopted by a Vancouver family spent more than 30 years tracking down her birth parents. She overcame family resistance to finally uncover her connection to the west coast Penelakut Tribe.

How a Viennese ethnomusicologist preserved Indigenous songs during potlatch ban

In Canada, one of the most important ethnomusicologists who explored Indigenous music was from Vienna. Ida Halpern came to Canada in the 1930s with the goal of collecting the music of First Nations in British Columbia. 

New NFB doc tells story of historic totem pole raising from a Haida perspective

In 1969, the first totem pole was raised in Haida Gwaii in nearly a century. In his new documentary, Now is the Time, filmmaker Christopher Auchter used archival tape to tell the story from a Haida perspective.

'I rescued my ancestors': Anishinaabe anthropologist brings archival recordings back home

Bimodoshka Annya Pucan was doing undergraduate research at the University of Western Ontario, when she discovered archival recordings of Robert Thompson - a medicine man born in 1876.

From Geronimo to Avatar: Wes Studi's path to historic Oscar

From the Vietnam War to the American Indian Movement to the bright lights of Hollywood, veteran Cherokee actor Wes Studi has had a colourful life. And on Oct. 27, he became the first Indigenous actor to receive an Oscar for his work.

Stand-up, sketch and satire: The rise of Indigenous comedy

Indigenous people are often thought of as stoic and serious. But the truth is, Indigenous people love to laugh! 

Unreserved presents: Jeremy Dutcher in concert

Jeremy Dutcher is a classically trained operatic tenor, and member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. He won the 2018 Polaris Prize for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, which combined his own compositions with archival recordings in his language, Wolastoqey. Today, we're listening to highlights of his recent concert at the Spirit Song Festival in St. John's, Newfoundland.

'I'm Indigenous and I'm proud of it': Cree comic inspires sons to follow in his footsteps

For Cree standup comedian Howie Miller, and his four sons, comedy has become a family business.

'So much absurdity in everyday living': Lakota writer's musings on life, politics and identity in new book

Some call Tiffany Midge the Indigenous David Sedaris, and her new book of essays, Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s, is staking out her place in the genre of humour. 

Why every Navajo baby's first laugh is celebrated

The person who makes the child laugh for the first time has been chosen as the one who welcomes them with a feast for the whole family. 

Uncovering the complicated history of blankets in Indigenous communities

Blankets hold great cultural significance in many Indigenous communities. They were used in trade, given as gifts and even offered a way to record community history.

The complicated history of the Hudson's Bay point blanket

The iconic Hudson's Bay point blanket has a complicated history with Indigenous people in Canada. These blankets first appeared in Canadian trading posts in the 1700s, and aside from bedding, they also served as a form of currency, and were fashioned into robes. But these blankets took on a darker history, with rumours they were used to spread smallpox.
Podcast Exclusive

A short history of Indigenous blankets in Canada

From the Hudson Bay point blankets, to button blankets, and star quilts, this week Unreserved is taking a look at the history of blankets in Indigenous communities. In this podcast exclusive, Elizabeth Kawenaa Montour from Library and Archives Canada leads us through that history. 

The blanket toss: From traditional binoculars to high-flying sport

Imagine a human-powered trampoline with two dozen people pulling a seal hide tight, while a person stands in the centre. That person is then thrown 20 feet into the air.

Indigenous-designed blanket shares history and meaningful gift giving

A Siksika family-owned business incorporates Blackfoot history to create a ceremonial blanket that's turning heads

I went to report on a Cree culture camp. It ended up changing my life

Unreserved's Kyle Muzyka headed to kâniyâsihk to spend time with Kevin Lewis, and learn how to build a birchbark canoe. But he took away much more than that.

Volunteers use hooks and chains to search Winnipeg river for missing women

They gather along the shores of the Red River in Winnipeg. A small group of volunteers who meet at a make-shift memorial for Tina Fontaine. She is just one of almost 1200 missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. In the water and along the shore, they search for those who have been taken.

Homecoming: 12-year-old Fynnley Pearson visits Garden Hill First Nation for the first time

To celebrate his great-grandfather's 92nd birthday, Fynnley Pearson visited Garden Hill First Nation for the very first time.

Indigenous stories from the field: Lessons learned from the rez, a river and a canoe

From time to time, Unreserved visits communities to meet people where they live. Today on the show, three stories of people on personal, and cultural, journeys.

How every member of an Alberta First Nation lost Indian Status

Until 1985, under the Indian Act, First Nation people could legally get rid of their status by enfranchising, which means they would surrender their status to receive the same rights as non-Indigenous Canadians. 

How the Indian Act continues to impact the lives of First Nation people

There is no piece of legislation that has had more of an influence on the lives of First Nation people in Canada than the Indian Act. Originally passed in 1878, the Indian Act outlines everything from the current reserve structure, to the creation of residential schools.