Unreserved

Indigenous storytelling: who is controlling the narrative?

Whether it's film, fiction or history, when it comes to storytelling who is doing the telling is just as important as what the story is about. When it comes to Indigenous story more often than not we are not the ones doing the telling. As more Indigenous storytellers pick up the pen, camera or microphone that is changing.
The dictionary definition of misrepresentation. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

Whether it's film, fiction or history, when it comes to storytelling who is doing the telling is just as important as what the story is about. But when it comes to Indigenous story, more often than not, we are not the ones doing the telling.

That has led to misconceptions, skewed views and outright misrepresentations. As more Indigenous storytellers pick up the pen, camera or microphone that is changing. 

Chelsea Vowel (Chelsea Vowel)
No taxes, free education and a free house? Writer, lawyer and intellectual Chelsea Vowel explains how she changes minds, one comments section at a time. ​Her book, Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada is out now. 

Of the North is a 74-minute film mash-up of snow, snowmobiles, hunting and family life. But there are also clips of Inuit appearing drunk, crashing an ATV, vomiting, and one very sexually explicit scene. The film's director, Dominic Gagnon, admitted that he has never been to the North but used clips from publicly-available videos posted online and edited them together. This week a Montreal film festival apologized for screening the film last year.
Jesse Wente (Nadya Kwandibens, Red Works Photography)
Our culture columnist, Jesse Wente, is back to weigh in on controversial portrayals of Indigenous people in film.

Last week on the show we broadcast a special episode from the camps at Standing Rock. We introduced you to some of the people who call themselves water protectors. This week, at the Manitoba legislature, MLA Wab Kinew stood up and made it clear he stands with Standing Rock.

And tears and praise for In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier — our second book in our Indigenous Reads book club. The panelists share why they feel this classic is still relevant today. 
 

Andrea Menard (andreamenard.com)
This week's playlist:


The Chieftones - I Shouldn't Have Did What I Done

Tagaq and Shad - Centre

Rex Smallboy - Stand with Standing Rock 

Andrea Menard - Halfbreed Blues