Tag Archives: Drew Hayden Taylor

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.


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).