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Working It Out Together: Lucina Gordon–Inuk School Days

This episode of Working It Out Together examines a topic dear to my heart: Indigenous education. Through the lived experiences of an Inuit student from Nunavut, it takes a hard look at the effects that the Residential School System continues to inflict upon Indigenous youth across Canada today.

Carol Rowan, Professor of Education at Concordia University–Inuit Studies, describes the way Inuit children were educated by the community and through their experiences on the land prior to colonization. “The land was teacher and land was pedagog. Children learned through a caring relationship with the land.” This attitude to education was in stark contrast to what we today understand conventional education to be.

Morley Hanson, Coordinator, Nunavut Sivuniksavut describes the process of colonization as it manifested in the far north. “Waves of outsiders would arrive, predicated on the continued use of the natural resources.” There was a European whaling industry, followed by fur traders and missionaries. The people began to convert to Christianity, and were also encouraged and/or coerced to move off of the land to live in larger communities.

Melissa Irwin, Instructor, Nunavut Sivuniksavut explains how the Residential School System was a “colonizing tool that was designed with ill intent to take away our culture, our language, our pride, and our voice. It separated families physically, but also psychologically. It introduced violence, pain, disconnect, and abuse.” As a result of colonization, the value of education has been deflated within Indigenous communities across Canada. If however Indigenous ways of knowing are incorporated into school curriculum, interest in attending school and understanding its value will act to improve student success rates.

We follow 20 year old Lucina Gordon on her quest to become a school counselor. In order to complete her college degree at John Abbott College, she must travel more than 1500 km. Lucina is 1 of only 2 youth from her community to make it to the final college semester. We see through Lucina’s eyes the difficulties students face when they leave their tightly knit communities in the north to attend school in a large urban centre.

We are also introduced to the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program that helps Inuit students make the transition from their communities to post secondary education.  Using culturally relevant topics, students, so far removed from home and family, recognize their own sense of self and the program gives them ongoing support as they seek to complete higher education.

Admittedly, I am biased when it comes to Indigenous education but this episode really is jam packed with the issues that face Indigenous education and educators in Canada today. I have only touched on a few themes addressed in the episode and were I to truly do it  justice (at least in my mind) this recap would be twice as long as it is. Given the heavy media coverage that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s  Calls to Action have received across Canada, educational reform for Indigenous youth is a very timely topic. So my advice is simple, if you missed this episode just go watch it here: Working It Out Together



Link: Oh goody, Real Housewives is coming to Toronto

From Marsha Lederman of the Globe and Mail:

Oh goody, Real Housewives is coming to Toronto
The world is full of mysteries – some of its secrets impossible to comprehend, lying hidden in deep caverns, never to be revealed. For instance, how is one to wrap one’s head around the continued interest in and expansion of a show about rich women who are consumed with consumption – dining out, guzzling the bubbly, hitting the spa and shopping (and arguing) like champs? How, in fact, is it possible that The Real Housewives of Anywhere even exists? Continue reading.


Bell Media confirms 2016/17 original production slate

From a media release:

Bell Media confirms 2016/17 original production slate

  • Bell Media introduces eight new original series as 14 original productions return
  • New series for 2016/17 include RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE BEAVERTON, CARDINAL, and FRONTIER, plus new original programming for Bell Media’s new food and lifestyle channel, Gusto, among others
  • CTV announces Season 4 of hit culinary competition MASTERCHEF CANADA, joining impressive slate of returning original hit series
  • Two-hour event special CANADA IN A DAY headlines 2016/17 specials slate
  • Bell Media Production lineup ETALK, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, THE SOCIAL, INNERSPACE, DAILY PLANET return, along with new daytime series YOUR MORNING –

Bell Media confirmed today its leading slate of new and returning original entertainment programming for the 2016/17 broadcast year in advance of the #CTVUpfront presentation in Toronto. With Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programs, Bell Media reinforces its industry leadership with original productions, including its recently announced commitment to produce all new original scripted series in 4K.

More Canadians make Bell Media their choice for homegrown programs than any other media company. CTV’s SAVING HOPE is the most-watched Canadian drama among all key adult demos, while the network is home to the country’s top two Canadian series among total viewers, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA; the top Canadian programs in daytime, Bell Media Production’s THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW and THE SOCIAL; the most-viewed entertainment news program, ETALK; and the most-watched original series on entertainment specialty for all key adult demos, Discovery’s CANADA’S WORST DRIVER.

New Bell Media Original Series for 2016/17:


  • Discovery’s first-ever scripted original series FRONTIER, with its exclusive world debut in Canada this November, starring Jason Momoa (Discovery)
  • Based on bestselling crime novels, the murder-mystery CARDINAL starring Billy Campbell and Karinne Vanasse (CTV)
  • New serialized mystery drama THE DISAPPEARANCE about the vanishing of a 10-year-old boy (CTV)


  • Based on the enormously popular website, the satirical news series THE BEAVERTON (The Comedy Network)
  • Following its debut on CraveTV, the fish-out-of-water dramedy RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE (CTV)


  • From the producers of HIGHWAY THRU HELL, spin-off HEAVY RESCUE: 401 (Winter 2017) (Discovery)
  • The next in the “MIGHTY” series, MIGHTY TRAINS (Fall 2016), hosted by INNERSPACE’s Teddy Wilson (Discovery)
  • Featuring Andrew Younghusband, the star of the top original entertainment specialty program in Canada among key adult demos, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, the new series TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS (Fall 2016)
  • As previously announced, original Canadian programming on Bell Media’s new food and lifestyle channel Gusto will include A IS FOR APPLE, ONE WORLD KITCHEN, and FISH THE DISH. Bell Media has entered into a production arrangement with industry veteran Chris Knight to supply exclusive Canadian programming for the network through Gusto Worldwide Media. The production commitment will allow Bell Media to grow Gusto’s roster of hit series with new original Canadian programming, all in 4K.

Returning Bell Media Original Series for 2016/17:


  • Ahead of its Season 3 finale airing Sunday, June 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, the network announced today that original culinary competition series MASTERCHEF CANADA will return for a fourth season in 2017. The hit series will be back with a new batch of home cooks competing for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as they pursue their culinary dream and battle to become Canada’s next MasterChef. Casting opens this Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET and aspiring home cooks will have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6 to apply
  • Priming the 2016/17 Fall Season is summer’s most-watched television series, Season 4 of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, when it returns June 28 (CTV)


  • Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Dramatic Series, Montréal cop drama 19-2 returns for Season 3 (June 20), in advance of its already announced fourth season (Bravo)
  • Award-winning medical drama SAVING HOPE returns for a fifth season (CTV)
  • Space’s most-watched original series of all time, the sci-fi adventure series KILLJOYS returns for a second season (Space)
  • Season 2 of critically acclaimed drama SENSITIVE SKIN is currently airing on HBO Canada, while Season 4 of the internationally renowned genre darling, ORPHAN BLACK and its companion after-show AFTER THE BLACK (produced by INNERSPACE) are currently continuing on Space


  • JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS returns with a fourth season of all-star laughs from the famed Montréal comedy festival (Comedy)
  • New cult favourite and breakout hit LETTERKENNY returns for a second season (CraveTV)


  • The most-watched original series on entertainment specialty among key adult demos, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, enters its 12th season (Discovery)
  • Newfoundland’s COLDWATER COWBOYS is back for more high seas adventure in Season 4 (Discovery)
  • Entertaining and educational hit series, HIGHWAY THRU HELL, returns for Season 5 (Discovery)
  • Long-time international favourite, HOW IT’S MADE, returns for an incredible 28th season (Discovery), along with:
  • JADE FEVER (Discovery, Season 3)
  • MAYDAY (Discovery, Season 16)
  • MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS (Discovery, Season 2)
  • VEGAS RAT RODS (Discovery, Season 3)

Events & Specials

The ground-breaking, crowd-sourced broadcast event CANADA IN A DAY, in celebration of Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary, headlines Bell Media’s slate of new original movies, documentaries, and specials for the 2016/17 broadcast year. The slate also includes:

  • BUILDING STAR TREK (Discovery)
  • DEATH OF A COMET (Discovery)
  • WE DAY 2016 (MTV)

Returning Bell Media Production Original Series for 2016/17

Complementing this fulsome slate of original Canadian independent productions is a robust lineup of top-rated in-house entertainment productions from Bell Media Production renewed for new seasons in 2016/17:

  • Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program, ETALK
  • The country’s #1 and #2 Canadian daytime series, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW and THE SOCIAL
  • As announced Monday, new daytime series YOUR MORNING
  • Flagship science and technology program, DAILY PLANET (Discovery)
  • Genre entertainment series, INNERSPACE (Space) and its series of after-shows

Source : Numeris, Sep 21, 2015 – May 22, 2016. Entertainment specialty ranking based on Aug 31, 2015 – May 8, 2016. Local news ranking based on Spring 2016 diary survey, A25-54.


CraveTV and CTV to produce original series Russell Peters is the Indian Detective

From a media release:

CraveTV Taps Comic Megastar Russell Peters for Next Original Series, RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE

  • Original 4 x 1 hour series comes to CraveTV in partnership with CTV
  • Russell Peters stars in his first scripted TV series, created by renowned executive producer and writer Frank Spotnitz
  • International co-production set to go to camera in this fall in Durban, Mumbai, and Toronto

CraveTV, in partnership with CTV, announced today its second original series, RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE. The new series follows on the success earlier this year of CraveTV’s breakout hit series, LETTERKENNY. Worldwide comic sensation Russell Peters stars in the four-part, one-hour, fish-out-of-water dramedy. Commissioned in partnership with CTV from Big Light Productions (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, HUNTED, MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE), Blue Ice Pictures (MADIBA, THE BOOK OF NEGROES, October Gale), and Wonder Films (Water, The Young Messiah), RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE is set to begin production this fall in 4K. The production will shoot in Durban, Mumbai, and Toronto, before premiering on CraveTV in 2017.


Developed for Peters by acclaimed writer and executive producer Frank Spotnitz (THE X-FILES, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE) and Smita Bhide (HUNTED, TRANSPORTER: THE SERIES), RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE follows Peters’ Doug D’Mello, a charming, smart, ambitious Toronto cop of Indian heritage whose dreams of becoming a homicide detective are put on hold when he is unjustly suspended. While on leave, D’Mello visits his dad in Mumbai, where he gets embroiled in a local case and pursues an impressive and beautiful attorney. As a dangerous investigation unfolds, D’Mello must also grapple with culture shock in a country where, despite his heritage, he is an outsider. Equal doses comedy and high-stakes drama, RUSSELL PETERS IS THE INDIAN DETECTIVE marks Russell Peters’ first starring role in a scripted television series.

The series builds on the long-standing relationship with Peters, which has included A RUSSELL PETERS CHRISTMAS, now a Bell Media holiday scheduling tradition, Peters’ two stints as host of THE JUNO AWARDS, as well as the 2003 CTV COMEDY NOW! special that propelled him into an international phenomenon when it was posted anonymously on the internet and made its way around the globe.

RUSSELL PETERS started doing stand-up in 1989 at the age of 19 at open mics in his native Toronto. Peters is the first comedian to sell-out Toronto’s Air Canada Centre six times since 2007, and just completed his Almost Famous World Tour, which took him to over 120 cities across 25 countries with more than 500,000 fans. Having released four stand-up specials since 2004, Peters recorded his new special, RUSSELL PETERS ALMOST FAMOUS at Toronto’s Massey Hall, which will be released in October. Recently, Peters was a judge on NBC’s LAST COMIC STANDING, and appeared in Spike TV’s hit show, LIP SYNC BATTLE. Peters can also be seen in Jon Favreau’s critically acclaimed movie, Chef, and can be heard as one of the voices on Disney’s The Jungle Book.

INDIAN DETECTIVE is created and executive produced and written by Frank Spotnitz and co-written by Smita Bhide, both of whom also wrote the first episode. It is executive produced by Blue Ice Pictures’ Daniel Iron and Lance Samuels (MADIBA, THE BOOK OF NEGROES, October Gale), Wonder Films’ Mark Burton (Water, The Young Messiah), CPI Pictures Clayton Peters (RUSSELL PETERS: NOTORIOUS, RUSSELL PETERS VERSUS THE WORLD), and Paul Canterma. Co-executive producer is Sharon Remmer (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE). Sarah Fowlie is Director, Independent Production, Comedy, Bell Media. Executive for Bell Media is Chris Kelley. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks and CraveTV, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media.