RezX co-hosts Erin Goodpipe and Tyler Tootoosis. Photo by Mike Dubois, courtesy rezxmag.com
Indigenous faces are gracing more television screens in Saskatchewan this month as RezX debuts on a new cable network.
The 12-episode show is heading into its third season on Access7, and as of this year it can be viewed on ShawTV. The season premiere was on Sunday.
RezX wanted to expand with ShawTV because Prince Albert and Saskatoon have a high Indigenous urban population, said founder Chris Ross. He is a member of Red Earth Cree Nation who now lives in Regina. ShawTV also reaches the cities of Swift Current and Moose Jaw.
In recent months, RezX held a contest to find hosts for this season. Erin Goodpipe and Tyler Tootoosis were chosen as co-hosts, and Austin Thomson as a reporter.
It’s important for young people to see Indigenous stories told by and about people they can relate to, Ross said.
“What are the challenges and troubles that young people are going through and how can RezX as a medium relate to them and empower them?” he asked.
“We want our young people to watch this and see that these are their own people, people just like them, people that came from the reserve, people that came from the inner city, people that have overcome a lot of obstacles to become successful in their own right.”
Ross said the show stands apart from news programs. Instead of focusing on the daily news cycle they want to tell in-depth stories and do follow-ups “so that you can still watch RezX a year from now and still become educated about our issues.”
Ross said they want people from all kinds of backgrounds -Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to benefit from the show.
“When it comes to issues of reconciliation and issues for historic purposes I think it’s very important that we tell our own stories, and it’s not to say non-Indigenous can’t tell our stories but if they are going to be telling our stories they have to be very well-verse and well-educated,” he said.
“When you’re looking back at history and reading stories it’s important for us to maintain that voice because it goes back to sitting around the fire.”
Each episode debuts on Sundays but can be viewed on Youtube the following week. For more information check out RezX’s website.