A new documentary series on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network tackles racism against Canada’s Indigenous peoples head on.
First Contact follows the 28-day journey of six non-Indigenous people through a number of Indigenous communities.
All six hold strong preconceived and inaccurate stereotypes of Indigenous people.
Stephanie Scott of Indios Productions is one of First Contact’s producers and she says the premise of the show is to challenge and hopefully change these stereotypes.
“On this journey, they all actually learned something, were educated, were challenged,” she says. “Our Indigenous people took them in and made the best of their time with them. And, you know, there were some really remarkable happenings.”
Scott adds she hopes the documentary encourages all Canadians to explore Indigenous communities and see what they have to offer.
“I hope people are more than willing to drop into a community, to make connections with Indigenous people, to start a friendship, if they have questions, ask…”
The three-part series runs Sept. 11-13 on APTN and is narrated by George Stroumboulopoulos.
Following the second episode in the series, three Indigenous hosts who are in it reflect on the journey of the six participants in front of a live Winnipeg audience.
Following the third episode, the six participants themselves come before a live studio audience to discuss their experience.
Two of the participants are from Ontario, two from Alberta and one each from B.C. and New Brunswick.
(PHOTO: Left to right, Avonlea Collins, Donald Wright and Ashley Mathieu are three of the participants in the documentary series First Contact. Photo courtesy of Media Profile)