Waniska

An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge

In an extraordinary display of resilience, a group of Elders out on the land address the importance of Indigenous knowledge. These residential school survivors shine a light on a future where this traditional knowledge system may be called upon to assist humanity. Filmed in the fields and forests of First Nations lands across Saskatchewan, Waniska was envisioned and directed by the Elders Circle of the First Nations University of Canada with participation from students.

Filmmakers

Kehte-Ayak (Elders’) Circle

The First Nations University has several Elders who lecture in the classroom and share their knowledge through traditional activities on campus and at camps on the lands of Saskatchewan. The Elders are integral to every part of the university and help students (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) in maintaining or developing connections to culture. The Elders also help staff incorporate traditional knowledge, teachings, and concepts into their classrooms and online course development.

Together, these same Elders directed and wrote “Waniska” which speaks to the awakening of Indigenous knowledge.

Check out the additional bonus videos available for each of the Elders below.

Florence Allen

Peter Ballantyne First Nation, Saskatchewan

Florence is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Peter Ballantyne First Nation, Saskatchewan. She makes her directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Florence has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. Her role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Florence

Rose Bird

Thunderchild First Nation, Saskatchewan

Rose is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Thunderchild First Nation, Saskatchewan. She makes her directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Rose has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. Her role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Rose

Willie Ermine

Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan

Willie is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan. He makes his directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Willie has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. His role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Willie

Preston Gardypie

Beardy’s & Okemasis’ First Nation, Saskatchewan

Preston is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Beardy’s & Okemasis’ First Nation, Saskatchewan. He makes his directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Preston has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. His role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Preston

Gilbert Kewistep

Yellow Quill First Nation, Saskatchewan

Gilbert is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Yellow Quill First Nation, Saskatchewan. He makes his directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Gilbert has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. His role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Gilbert

Mary Lee

Pelican Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan

Mary is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of Pelican Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan. She makes her directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Mary has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. Her role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Mary Lee

Margaret Reynolds

La Plonge First Nation, Saskatchewan

Margaret is a residential school survivor who comes from the traditional lands of La Plonge First Nation, Saskatchewan. She makes her directorial debut with ‘Waniska: An Awakening of Indigenous Knowledge’. As a member of the Elders’ Circle at the First Nations University of Canada, Margaret has brought traditional knowledge, teachings, and guidance to students and staff members. Her role in incorporating Indigenous teachings within the classroom and connecting students with their culture was integral in the development of the film, ‘Waniska’.

Video Extras:
Bonus Video Content with Margaret

Grace McLeod

Prince Albert, SK – Coordinator

Recently retired, Grace formerly worked for the First Nations University of Canada as the Director of Student Success Services. She was also instrumental in the formation of the Elders’ Circle and has worked diligently on the formation of the traditional campus, helped to collaborate and share resources with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) and helped begin a mentor program in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and Regina. She oversaw Elder services for all three campuses and helped unify Elders with students. During her summer months, she was a key team member with 4 Seasons of Reconciliation as she accompanied the team on-location in Saskatchewan and Alberta during the production of “Waniska I” and Douglas Cardinal’s biographical documentary. Grace McLeod will continue to work with Kehte-Ayak, NCCIE and 4 Seasons of Reconciliation for Phase 2.

Produced by:

4 Seasons of Reconciliation

Connecting people through storytelling

About 4 Seasons of Reconciliation

4 Seasons of Reconciliation is a multi-media online publishing site that promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians, through transformative multi-media learning portals. This educational initiative, developed for secondary, post-secondary and the workplace incorporates teacher guides, slideshows, videos and award-winning films through its online learning portals.

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Producer Andrée Cazabon

As a Gemini nominee, Andrée Cazabon’s films have amassed over 1 million viewers on CBC-Newsworld, TVA, Canal D, Radio-Canada, and CBC Television. 2019 marks the twelfth year of her professional and personal commitment to reconciliation. A member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, she is the founder of Productions Cazabon. a bilingual film and television production company based in Toronto, Canada, with a satellite office in Regina Saskatchewan. With its dynamic team, passionate about storytelling and evoking change through film and multi-media, all of its production is focused entirely on reconciliation since 2008. Productions Cazabon is the producer of the educational online site ‘4 Seasons of Reconciliation’ and its 4-part film series.

Andrée Cazabon

President / Founder
Productions Cazabon