Tag Archives: APTN

Drew Hayden Taylor is Going Native on APTN

I first saw Drew Hayden Taylor in the CBC POV documentary “Searching for Winnetou.” Available on CBC Gem, the episode followed Taylor as he explored the German obsession with Indigenous North Americans. The curious and entertaining documentary stuck with me for awhile. So, I was pleased to learn he was back on TV, this time as the star of his own series.

Going Native—debuting with the first of 13 episodes on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on APTN—finds the celebrated Anishinaabe humorist and author exploring how Indigenous Peoples have changed the world, and are re-shaping their culture today. Each instalment represents at theme; Saturday’s “Going Horse” tracks the history of the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and equines, and includes interviews, stunning vistas and footage of Taylor scrambling to mount a horse.

“One of the problems I’ve personally had—as an Indigenous humorist—is a lot of the media coming both from the Indigenous community and about the Indigenous community, like novels, movies, etc., deal with a darker aspect of the First Nations communities dealing with the oppressed, depressed and suppressed nature of a lot of our stories and history,” Taylor says. “Having traveled to over 150 Indigenous communities across Canada and the United States, I’ve always been greeted with a laugh, a smile and a joke. It’s always been my firm belief that it’s been our sense of humour that has allowed us to survive some of those darker periods of our history.

“I know we have a sense of humour,” he continues. “We have a sense of whimsy, a sense of enjoyment of life that is not frequently witnessed by the dominant culture and that was one of the things I wanted incorporated into this series.”

That humour and enjoyment is shown in the sidelong glances between horse experts helping Taylor scramble onto a regal horse or the wonder in his face as he learns Indigenous Peoples were tracking their place in the galaxy for likely before Europeans were. Future episodes investigate architecture, music, food, fashion, business and pop culture, all delivered by Taylor, who has a twinkle in his eye and wonderment at the information he learns.

“The depth of knowledge that was available to our ancestors is truly stunning,” Taylor says. “I grew up in the Indigenous culture and I’m still learning so much about my own culture.”

Going Native airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on APTN.

Images courtesy of Ice River Films.


New series Yukon Harvest debuts May 8 on APTN

From a media release:

Rogue River Films Inc. announced today the premiere of their brand new series Yukon Harvest, which debuts on APTN in English on May 8, 2021 and in Northern Tutchone on May 20, 2021. The 13 episode documentary series chronicles the adventures of Indigenous hunters and guides as they navigate the wilds of the Yukon and beyond. Some are seasoned veterans; others are young newcomers who must reconnect with their roots and learn how to respectfully harvest an animal for the community.

Filmed across Canada, Yukon Harvest highlights the beauty of the country while capturing real life stories of families, communities, connection and tradition, following real people and their emotional journeys. Filming locations include the Mayo area of the Yukon, Vancouver Island, Kamloops, Yellowknife, Fort St. John, Whitehorse and Osler, Saskatchewan.

The series will also be released under the title Dän K’eht’e in Northern Tutchone, a language spoken in the Yukon communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Carmacks, and Beaver Creek. It was important to the team to create a lasting record of the language that is only spoken fluently by a limited number of people. The team worked remotely with the Elders and community in order to safely translate and record the series in Northern Tutchone during the pandemic.

Episodes of Yukon Harvest will begin airing on APTN on May 8, 2021 (English) and will continue weekly. The Northern Tutchone language version, Dän K’eht’e will air on May 20, 2021 and will continue weekly. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area or visit aptn.ca/schedule.

Episodes will be available on APTN’s streaming service, APTN lumi, within 48 hours of the original broadcast. Visit watchaptnlumi.ca or subscribe to APTN lumi through the Apple TV Channel app at https://apple.co/aptn.

Yukon Harvest was produced, developed and written by Todd Forsbloom and Erik Virtanen and executive produced by Jim Shockey. Todd Forsbloom, Dan Minsky and Taylor Smith were directors on the series and select cast includes: Don Harris, Dallas Harris, Annette Carter-Harris, Ed Jensen, Brett Taylor, Derek and Tori Forsbloom, Geri-Lee Buyck and the Buyck Family, Evan Lafreniere-Clark, Josh Austen, Steve Buyck and Scott Unger. Yukon Harvest was made possible with the support of APTN and the CMF.


Drew Hayden Taylor explores everything from the weird and wacky to the deep and profound ways Indigenous Peoples impact the world in Going Native

From a media release:

Sam Karney (A Life on the Line) and Andrew Wiens (A Life on the Line) of Ice River Films are pleased to announce that the IndigiGonzo series, Going Native, starring Drew Hayden Taylor (Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou, Mixed Blessings) will premiere on Canada’s national Indigenous network APTN. The half hour, 13-episode series premieres Saturday, May 8, 2021.

In Going Native, celebrated Anishinaabe humorist and author Drew Hayden Taylor turns his comic gaze on how Indigenous Peoples have changed the world and are re-shaping their culture in the 21st century. Each episode takes on one theme, from pop culture to architecture, as Drew takes viewers on a wild journey of discovery from concert halls to desert ruins and from video game conventions to treacherous cliff pole-fishing expeditions.

Every episode is its own unique adventure, and Drew’s perspective ties it together. When people think about Native buildings, they think about teepees, longhouses and wigwams. But Drew Hayden Taylor is thinking about the revolutionary architects that are creating zero-emission communities on the West Coast. When people think about Native food they think about pemmican and seal blubber; but Drew is tucking into nouveau cuisine in downtown Toronto and learning how traditional “companion planting” of crops is revolutionizing today’s agriculture. When people think about Native culture, they think about beads and dancing, while Drew is watching zombie movies and checking out graffiti artists.

Written by Drew Hayden Taylor, Kurt Spenrath and Paul Kemp, Going Native is directed by Sam Karney, Paul Kemp (Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou), Andrew Wiens and Kurt Spenrath (Queen of the Oil Patch). Produced by Sam Karney, Andrew Wiens, and Kurt Spenrath, and executive produced by Paul Kemp of Paul Kemp Productions and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Going Native has been commissioned and financed by APTN, with financial contributions also coming from The Canada Media Fund, Manitoba Film and Music and Ontario Creates.

Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist and filmmaker. Born and living on the Curve Lake First Nation (Anishinaabe) in Ontario, he has done everything from stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. to serving as artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada’s leading Indigenous theatre company. The author of 33 books, Drew likes to travel the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature and storytelling.

Ice River Films was established in Winnipeg in 2013 by Sam Karney and Andrew Wiens to pursue a passion for storytelling through the lens of documentary filmmaking. Propelled by early work in short film for CBC and Bell MTS, their first hour-long documentary, A Life on the Line (APTN), explored Sam’s Métis roots and family tradition of working a trap line. Travelling the world, the duo has since worked on several docuseries including, High Maintenance (Smithsonian Canada), Polar Bear Town (Smithsonian US), Taken (APTN/CBC) and First Contact (S02, APTN). Their latest, Going Native (APTN), is hosted by Drew Hayden Taylor.

Paul Kemp Productions is a multiple award-winning TV series and feature documentary film company based in Toronto. With over 50 films and series produced over the years, and with sales in over 140 countries, some of the company’s notable productions include: Searching for Winnetou (CBC), Transformer (CBC, Netflix USA), The Rise of Jordan Peterson (CBC, SKY UK, Amazon), Village of the Missing (CBC, Sundance Now), Cottagers & Indians (CBC), The Science of Sin (Discovery International), Rise of the Trolls (Amazon + 80 countries) and Infestation (UKTV, ZDF-GERMANY).


Rezolution Pictures’ GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land, set in Mi’gmaq fishing community, debuts February 11 & 13 on APTN

From a media release:

Rezolution Pictures has announced the debut of the first season of APN’s original series GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land, a 13-part half-hour documentary series about the Mi’gmaq fishers of Listuguj, Que., who make their living on the nearby waters harvesting salmon, crab, lobster and shrimp. While the series takes a lighthearted approach to life in Listuguj, it also provides a First Nations perspective on how a commercial fishing industry – one that was born out of violence and defiance – grew to be a key economic and cultural support for the community. Shooting began in the fall of 2018, but the subject has become topical as the conflict between Nova Scotia’s Mi’gmaq and non-Indigenous commercial fishers continues in southwest Nova Scotia.

The series will premiere in Mi’gmaq on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. CT on aptn n and on Feb. 18 at 7 a.m. ET on aptn e/hd and 7 a.m. MT on aptn w.
The English premiere will be on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. ET on aptn e/hd, 7 p.m. CT on aptn n and 7 p.m. MT on aptn w.

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Canada’s world-renowned Gaspé Peninsula region in Quebec, GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land is fast-paced, funny and intimate. Experience a devotional journey with the fishers of Listuguj as they battle long days and nights on the water. The community of Listuguj is a small but feisty reserve on the border of Quebec and New Brunswick. Their success has been hard won over the years: clashes with police, raids and court cases all played a role in the birth and development of the humble fishery that is now a multi-million-dollar enterprise. Everything here has a connection to fishing, from self-governance and environmental sustainability, to bringing back the annual powwow and the Mi’gmaq language to younger generations.

GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land is a character-driven documentary series that explores the intergenerational sacrifice, dedication, and the heart of the Mi’gmaq fishers on the east coast of Canada. Tune into this compelling and dynamic series that glimpses into a region and culture rarely seen on television, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

APTN has confirmed the development of the second season of GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land.

GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land is co-executive produced and co-directed by Ernest Webb and Greg Lawrence, produced by Lisa M. Roth. It also introduces director trainee Heather Condo, who directed the Wapikoni short film, “My Father’s Tools” which screened at Sundance and festivals around the world.


APTN’s Tribal returns for Season 2 production

From a media release:

APTN and Prairie Dog Film + Television’s one-hour crime drama series, TRIBAL begins Season 2 production today in Calgary.

In Season 2 of TRIBAL, Chief Sam Woodburn and Detective Bukansky’s grisly discovery causes them to question who they can trust. Connie appoints a new leader of the Task Force as they try to uncover who is responsible for the “Tomb”, Indigenous bodies buried under a water treatment plant. An uprise of crime continues. A white poacher is found dead on a reserve. A hostage is taken into custody. Murders linked to ritualistic manners take place. Are the “Starlight Tours resurrected”? Sam and Buke come face-to-face with the memory of Buke’s shooting. The divide escalates between the Metro and Tribal police departments, affecting Sam and Buke’s partnership.

TRIBAL’s cast and crew return to set following health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. TRIBAL’s Showrunner Ron E. Scott shares, “It has been an interesting journey. We are looking forward to getting back to shooting with our hard-working cast and crew. Season 2 includes new dimensional, ripped-from-the-headlines stories, including missing and murdered Indigenous people, police corruption and the effects of PTSD. We look forward to welcoming the new cast and crew to the series.”

TRIBAL’s award-winning cast returns including Jessica Matten (Frontier, Blackstone) and Brian Markinson (Mad Men, Unspeakable). The series will again feature the talented Garry Chalk, and Julian Black Antelope with new characters featuring Marci T. House, Stephen Huszar, Wesley French and Ashley Callingbull.

Filming will take place at various locations in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

TRIBAL is led by Executive Producer & Showrunner Ron E. Scott, Co-Executive Producer Janet Hamley, Co-Executive Producer Adam Frost, and produced by Scott Lepp. The series will broadcast in Canada on APTN.

TRIBAL is produced in association with APTN, in participation with the Canada Media Fund and the Rogers Cable Network Fund, with assistance from the Government of Alberta, the Screen-based Production Grant and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.