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Working It Out Together Season 3

Working It Out Together Season 3, a thirteen-part documentary series, follows Kanien’kehá:ka Olympian and Health Advocate Waneek Horn-Miller on a journey to reclaim our well-being and build an Indigenous movement of positive change. Colonization has wreaked havoc on our bodies, minds, communities, and spirit. Working It Out Together features dynamic leaders in health advocacy, and courageous men and women who are figuring out what it takes to be well and to thrive.

Creators  

Tracey Deer, Waneek Horn-Miller
& Keith Morgan

 

Directors

Brittany Leborgne, Genevieve Brault, Ernie Webb, Courtney Montour, Michelle Smith & Abhish Birla

 

Series Director

Michelle Smith

 

Writers

Jeremiah Hayes & Michelle Smith

 

Producers

Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick, Lisa M. Roth, Jake Kent & Claire MacKinnon

 

Executive Producers

Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon, Linda Ludwick & Ernest Webb

 

Executive Producers

Tracey Deer & Michelle Smith

 

Editors

Jeremiah Hayes, Gabriel Joseph, Rebecca Lessard & Eric Marapin

 

Original Soundtrack Composer

Claude Castonguay

 

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Episodes

Episode 301:

Konwenni Jacobs & Brian Williams – Taking control of health

 

Thirty years ago, diabetes was practically non-existent in Indigenous Communities. Now it’s an epidemic. Kahnawake health advocate Alex McComber inspires Konwenni Jacobs and Brian Williams to tackle this health crisis -rooted in colonial policies of land dispossession, starvation and disease -with awareness and confidence.

 

Episode 302:

Shillene McNaughton –Birthing on her own terms

 

Shillene McNaughton is planning a traditional birth for her fourth child. Her first three kids were born with the support of the Six Nations Maternal and Child Centre, a pioneering midwifery program which has brought birth back to the community. But Shillene’s gestational diabetes may thwart her efforts to welcomeher baby into the world following Mohawk traditions.

 

Episode 303:

Jamie Moses and Shawn Iserhoff –Stewards of the Land

 

Healthy land is the starting point for all health. Nowhere is this more evident than in EeyouIstchee, where hydro, mining and forestry continue to threaten the Crees’ close relationship to the land. We follow environmental advocates Jamie Moses and Shawn Iserhoff as they struggle to keep uranium mining out of their territory, and teach youth aboutthe health and wellness that comes from the land.

 

Episode 304:

Babbeyjane Happyjack –Fostering positive change

 

With more indigenous children in care than at the height of residential school, advocate Cindy Blackstock is on a mission to reclaim healthy families and seek justice for indigenous children like Babbeyjane. Babbeyjane Happyjack is one of the thousands of children who grew up in a foster family. Now a mother, she is struggling to attain a healthier and happier life for herself and her three boys.

 

Episode 305:

Bonnie Skye and Teri Morrow–Traditional food in a modern world

 

Bonnie Skye is waging a food revolution, one seed at a time. She’s a fourthgeneration corn planter and cooker, growing the ancestral corn of the Haudenosaunee that colonization tried to destroy. WithCayuga dietician Teri Morrow and local cultivators, she is bringing health and traditional food practices back to her community of Six Nations.

 

Episode 306:

Conrad Mianscum –Staying grounded while moving ahead

 

Cree athlete Conrad Mianscumis a rising star on the cross-country snowmobiling circuit. But the unexpected death of his grandfather, a former snowmobile champion, threatens to derail Conrad’s career. Family and community, including Snocross champion Nathaniel Bosum, rally behind Conrad as he fights to advance in his sport, and honour his grandfather’s legacy.

 

Episode 307:

Heather White –Rebel with a Cause

 

Heather White is on a mission to confront media misrepresentation while encouraging self-acceptance and a positive body image. Through her work as a plus-size actress on Mohawk Girls, Heather defies the “norms” of beauty on screen while challenging the Pocahontas archetype.Through her work as an educator,Heather empowers students to look at the media through a critical lens and challenge what they do and don’tsee.

 

Episode 308:

Rene Meshak–Healing Arts

 

Art saved Rene Meshake. A residential school survivor, Rene Meshake fell into drugs and alcohol and lived on the streets of Torontobefore finding his way back to his Ojibwe and artistic roots. Today he is a prolific interdisciplinary artist who has reconciled with his past. He mentors Indigenous youth like Ziibiwan Rivers, a foster care survivor andtalented electronic musician.

 

Episode 309:

Lucina Gordon-Inuk School Days

 

If Inuit students like Lucina Gordon want a higher education, they have to head south, leaving family and community behind. Twenty year-old Lucina hasmade it to her last semester at a Montreal college but homesickness and alcoholism may prevent her from graduating. Alternative college models like the Nunavut Sivuniksavutin Ottawa, offer built-in supports and Inuk centred culture and language instruction.

 

Episode 310:

Robbie Masden and Pasha Partridge -Two-Spirited Gifts

 

Adopted by a non-indigneous family, Robbie Masdenfaced discrimination and rejection for being native and for being queer. Pasha Partridge is an Inuk-Mohawk youth who left her Inuit community to study, but also to come out as bi-sexual and live comfortably with her girlfriend In Montreal. Growing up queer and Indigenous isn’t easy but both Robbie and Pasha find ways to recognize their unique gifts and celebrate who they are.

 

Episode 311:

Wayne Rabbitskin –The Long Road Home (Return of the Nishiiyuu Man)

 

Wayne Rabbitskinis an unlikely leader in the fight to end violence against women. This former abuser from Chisasibi, Cree territory is on a long journey of healing to reconcile his violent past, create dialogue between men and women and restore the teachings of his people to honour women.

 

Episode 312:

Elijah Decoursayand Sheri Pranteau -Restoring Justice through Healing

 

Elijah Decoursayand Sheri Pranteauare among the thousands of indigenous inmates caught in the Canadian justice system, a system brazenly set against indigenous people. Sheriis serving a life sentence, trying to get back on track and maintain custody of her young son. Elijah is making amends in a different way, reclaiming culture and reconnecting with tradition at Waseskun Healing Centre. Waseskun is providing a way forward for indigenous offenders and challenging the punitive nature of the colonial justice system.

 

Episode 313:

James Jones –Decolonization Dance

 

As a teenager, James Jones was a gang member living on the streets of Edmonton. Hoop Dancing helped him escape that world. Banned for generations, traditional ceremonies, including dancing, are seeing a rebirth in indigenous communities. Today James is a rising star, dancing with A Tribe Called Red, performing and competing on the worldstage. He is also using traditional dance to help indigenous youth stay out of gangs and off the streets.

Knowledge Keepers

Michèle Audette

Innu

Indigenous Women’s Rights Advocate

 

Michèle Audette is an advocate for Indigenous women as a strategic advisor and lecturer. For more than twenty years, she has been very involved in community politics. As the former president of Quebec Native Women and The Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ms. Audette was also the deputy minister of the Quebec Government’s Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion and was responsible for the Secretariatfor the Status of Women in Quebec from 2004-2008.

 

KK-Melissa Irwin-00097203Melissa Irwin

Inuit

Educator

 

Melissa Irwin is an Instructor at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, the Inuit run post-secondary education program in Ottawa. Raised in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, she completed high school in Rankin Inlet, which became her home for the next fifteen years. Her professional experience includes working in print, radio & television media, with local grassroots organizations (employment & education), at Nunavut’s land claims organization (harvester support), with the territorial government (health), and in communications with Canada’s national Inuit organization.

 

KK-Melinda Micco-RI_LA_Day33_Nov18_RI330918Melinda Micco

Seminole/Creek/Choctaw

Associate Professor Ethnic Studies

 

Melinda Micco is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has focused on American Indian history, multiracial identity in American Indian and African American communities, film studies and literature, Indigenous women, nationally and internationally.

 

KK-Lesley Paulette-00292976Lesley Paulette

Kanien’kehá:ka

Midwife

 

Lesley Paulette is an indigenous woman of Mohawk descent. Called to midwifery in her early twenties, she pursued a self-directed program of learning, seeking out both traditional and contemporary mentors. In 1998, Lesley was among the first group of midwives regulated in the province of Alberta. Since 1993, she has been providing midwifery services in the Northwest Territories where she played an integral role in the development of regulated midwifery. She resides at Smith’s Landing FirstNation and is married with numerous children, step-children, and grandchildren.

 

 

Dr. Karl Hele

Anishinaabe

Director of First Peoples Studies, Concordia University

 

Dr. K. S. Hele is a member of the Garden River First Nation community of the Anishinaabeg people and was educated in Sault Ste. Marie. He earned a B.A. (Waterloo) in 1993, a M.A. (Toronto) in 1994, and a Ph.D. (McGill) in 2003. His dissertation examined the Ojibwa encounter with nineteenth-century missionaries to Sault Ste. Marie. He has served as the joint editor of the Algonquian Proceedings (vols. 39 to 41) and has presented and published papers on the history of the Anishinabeg and Métis communities in the Sault Ste. Marie region. He is associate Professor of, and Director of, First Peoples Studies, at Concordia University. Additionally, Dr. Hele is a contributor to Anishinabek News and a columnist for the Sault Star (Sault Ste. Marie).

 

 

 

Karen Pheasant

Anishinaabe

Jingle Dress Dance Knowledge Keeper

 

Karen is from the Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario. In 2010, she published “The Promise to the Nokomis” based on her personal experience as being chosen a Knowledge Keeper of the Jingle Dress dance. She is currently completing her PHD at the University of Alberta where she is also a Sessional Instructor.Her work values movement as an expression of indigenous worldview, including the honouring of matriarchal leadership, dance as a reclamation process for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the sacred ecology connection with all forms of life on earth.

 

 

 

Kahn-Tineta Horn

Kanien’kehá:ka

Activist

 

Kahn-Tineta is a grandmother, mother and respected Kanien’kehá:kaelder (she’s also Waneek’s Mom). She was involved in the blocking of theInternational Bridge at Akwesasnein 1968, and later took part in the 78-day stand-off at Kanesatake/Oka in 1990. She was the Director of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples and she coordinated the Free Wolverine Campaign. Kahn-Tineta strongly believes that her accomplishments are a result of her adherence to Haudenosaunee values and way of life.

 

 

 

KK-Gina Metallic-01637840

Gina Metallic

Mi’kmaq

Social Worker and Community Organizer

 

Gina Metallic hails from the Mi’kmaq community of Listuguj, Quebec. She is a Clinical Social Worker with an expertise in anti-oppressive child welfare practices, indigenous therapeutic interventions, Two-Spirit issues, and suicide prevention/intervention. She also works with Indian Residential School survivors and their families. She holds a Masters of Social Work and Community Development from McGill University. Gina’s community-based approach and her self-identification as a Two-Spirited woman have helped guide her understanding of the complexities of the communities she works with.

 

 

 

KK-Isaach Murdoch

Isaac Murdoch

Anishinaabe

Traditional Storyteller

 

Isaac Murdoch is a traditional Anishinaabestoryteller who grew up outside of the colonial education system. His teachers and classrooms were the elders and the land. He is the holder of many teachings and stories that were thought to be lost and aren’t found inbooks. One of the co-founders of the popular Onaman Collective, he collaborates with renowned fashion designer and artist Christi Belcourttoshare these important stories with indigenous and non-indigenous students across Canada through mural creation. They work to bring environmental awareness and reconciliation into the mainstream education system. Isaac’s knowledge of traditional practices such as canoe building, food security, medical plants, hide tanning and other traditional skills has made him a sought after teacher and storyteller.

 

 

 

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Cindy Blackstock

Gitskan First Nations

Child Welfare Advocate

 

Cindy Blackstock is a Canadian-born Gitxsan activist for child welfare and Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is also Associate Professor in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. For over 25 Years Cindy Blackstock has been a Social Worker fighting for the equality of indigenous children in Canada. In 2007 she filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the Canadian Government for mistreatment of First Nations children. Eight years later the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the Federal Government discriminates against First Nations children on reserves by failing to provide the same level of child welfare services that exist elsewhere and recommended a complete overhaul of on-reserve child welfare programs.

 

 

 

KK-Alex Mccomber-WIOT screenshots00153533Alex McComber

Mohawk

Health Promotion Consultant

 

Alex McComber is a member of the Kanien’kehá:kacommunity of Kahnawake with a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) from McGill University. He has extensive experience working with the Kahnawake School Diabetes Prevention Project as a Diabetes Prevention Intervention Facilitator, Training Coordinator and Executive Director. He strives to integrate the traditional knowledge of the Haudenosaunee people into his daily life and share traditional teachings through community support mechanisms. Alex’s holds close ties to Indigenous communities. He believes strongly that health promotion, community mobilization, and personal empowerment for healthy lifestyles are key to healing multi-generational trauma.

 

 

Laurie Jacobs

Kanien’kehá:ka

Traditional Midwife

 

Laurie Jacobs is a midwife with over twenty years of experience. She works at the Maternal and Child Centre located in Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario.


Working It Out Together – A Magazine for Contemporary Indigenous Voices
Digital Media
Mohawk Girls Series
Fiction