Insiders and Outsiders: Developing New Collaboration Models

imagineNATIVE, 401 Richmond Building, Suite 446
October 19, 10:00am–11:15am


2017 has been a flashpoint for growing awareness and action of issues regarding ownership, practice and protocols in working with Indigenous stories and storytellers, and a call for film and media productions involving Indigenous peoples to be created by Indigenous people. Is Indigenous storytelling sovereignty absolute, and if not, how can impactful and practical rebalancing take place? Is this a practical or possible reality for future media production?

In a roundtable discussion that will be included in a forthcoming book by Dana Claxton and Ezra Winton called "Insiders/Outsiders," Indigenous artists take time to reflect on the impact of current practices within Canada’s cultural media industries, leading to ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies are responding to historical inequities for authentic and collaborative content creation with Indigenous peoples in Canada.


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Dr. Tasha Hubbard is a writer, filmmaker, and an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English. She is from Peepeekisis First Nation in Treaty Four Territory, and is the mother of a ten-year-old son. Her multi-faceted research is on Indigenous efforts to return the buffalo to the lands and Indigenous film in North America. Her first solo writing/directing project Two Worlds Colliding, about Saskatoon’s infamous Starlight Tours, premiered at ImagineNATIVE in 2004, was broadcast on CBC’s documentary program Roughcuts in 2004, and won the Canada Award at the 2005 Gemini Awards. Her short film 7 Minutes won Best Short Non-Fiction at the Yorkton Film Festival in 2016. She also recently premiered a NFB-produced feature documentary called Birth of a Family, about a 60s Scoop family reunited for the first time, which landed in the top ten audience choice list at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. 

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Award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet’s short films have screened at festivals around the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Sundance, Aspen Shortsfest, imagineNATIVE and the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013, her film Barefoot was recognized with a Special Mention from the Berlin International Film Festival and her film Wakening screened before the opening night gala at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Her work has been broadcast on ARTE, CBC, Air Canada, and Movieola. She is an alumnus of the NSI’s Drama Prize Program and the TIFF Talent lab. She is the former Artistic Director of imagineNATIVE, has developed initiatives for the Ontario Arts Council and has served on the boards of the Toronto Arts Council and the Images Festival. She is the former Artistic Director of imagineNATIVE and currently programs short films for TIFF. Danis (Cree/Metis) was born in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and resides in Toronto.


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Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe broadcaster, curator, producer and public speaker. Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last 7 as Head of Film Programmes at the Lightbox, where he has curated retrospectives on Stanley Kubrick, Michael Mann, Ida Lupino and First Peoples Cinema.  Jesse is also a columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning, where he has covered film and culture for 21 years. Wente is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, CMPA’s Prime Time and numerous Universities and Colleges. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council, and was just named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award.

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Shane Belcourt is Tony Belcourt's son.  Or Christi Belcourt's brother. Or Claire’s Dad. He is also an award-winning Métis filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Toronto. Notable work includes the feature film Tkaronto; shorts such as A Common ExperienceKeeping Quiet, and Pookums; and documentaries such as Kaha:wi - The Cycle of Life and the tv series Urban Native Girl; and two Historica Canada Minutes Chanie Wenjack and Naskumituwin (Treaty). Recent works include the CBC Firsthand documentary Indictment (co-Directed with Lisa Jackson) and the upcoming dramatic feature Red Rover.


Michelle Latimer is the showrunner, director, and writer of the breakout Indigenous resistance series RISE (Viceland), which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Her latest film Nuuca (executive produced by Laura Poitras) premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Nuuca explores the impact resource extractive industries have had on Indigenous women and girls. As a filmmaker, actor, and curator, Michelle’s goal is to use film and new media as a tool for social change. Her films have screened at film festivals internationally, including Sundance, TIFF, Rotterdam, Oberhausen, and Cannes, and her work has been acquired by National Gallery of Canada. Select films include NuucaChokeThe UndergroundNimmikaage, and the feature documentary ALIAS. She is currently developing The Freedom Project - a feature film examination of Canada’s prison system, and the impact of solitary confinement on female inmates, as well as adapting Thomas King’s novel Inconvenient Indian. Her films have been described as “visual poems exploring humanity” and are often experiments with creative form expressed from a personal point of view. Michelle recently spent nine months documenting on the front lines of the occupation at Standing Rock. She is passionate about working to educate and improve awareness around Indigenous issues in Canada and beyond.


Alethea Arnaquq-Baril is an Inuit filmmaker from the Canadian arctic. Alethea directed and produced award-winning Angry Inuk (Unikkaat/NFB co-production in association with EyeSteelFilm), a feature documentary about how Inuit are coming up with new and provocative ways to deal with international seal hunting controversies. Angry Inuk premiered at Hot Docs, and was selected for TIFF Canada’s Top Ten for 2016. Angry Inuk took home the Audience Choice Award at both of these festivals, and continues to win many other prestigious international awards. Alethea’s previous work includes Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, which follows Alethea’s journey to speak with elders across Nunavut before getting her own traditional Inuit face tattoos.




Dana Claxton is a critically acclaimed exhibiting artist and film/videomaker. She is recognized as a leading Lakota First Nations contemporary artist and cultural liaison in Canada and the United States. She works in film, video, photography, single and multi channel video installation and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the socio-political and the spiritual. Her work has been shown and collected internationally. She has received numerous awards including the VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art, Art History and Theory at the University of British Columbia.


Claxton was born in Yorkton Saskatchewan and her family reserve is Wood Mountain, Lakota First Nations located in Southwest Saskatchewan.  Her paternal Euro-Canadian Grandmother taught her how to harvest and preserve food and her maternal Lakota grandmother taught her to seek justice.


“Dana Claxton’s work is aesthetically innovative, brilliantly written and expertly paced. The thrust of her practice is political, spiritual and social, making it an essential contribution not only to the field of media art, but generally, to a more honest sense of history.” Jason St. Laurent, 2002

With Support From:

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Co-presented by: Cinema Politica

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