Face to Face | Podcast

Face to Face, hosted by Dennis Ward, is an interview show with a focus on Indigenous issues.

We not only talk to those in the headlines, but also those who are affected by the many problems facing Indigenous urban and rural communities.


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Anishinaabe writer Waubgeshig Rice hopes popular novel will be adapted for the screen

Some have called Moon of the Crusted Snow the perfect book for the times we’re in.

The novel was released in 2018 to critical praise but it has seen a resurgence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, writer and journalist, Waubgeshig Rice has been asked to pen a sequel to the post-apocalyptic story about a small, northern Anishinaabe community that goes dark as winter looms.

Originally aired May 26, 2020


Cree doctor hopes for positive changes post-pandemic

Like many people, Dr. James Makokis never imagined the COVID-19 pandemic would be as bad as it has become on Turtle Island.

Makokis, who has wanted to be a doctor since he was four years old has had to overcome adversity in order to get to where he is today.

Last year Makokis and his partner Anthony Johnson competed and won the Amazing Race Canada.

The couple knew it was going to be an opportunity to bring awareness to issues that Indigenous people face. That and more on this episode of Face to Face.

Originally aired May 19, 2020


Mi’gmaw director says film industry making slow, reluctant steps towards supporting Indigenous filmmakers

Celebrated Mi’gmaw filmmaker, Jeff Barnaby believes the Canadian film industry is making “slow but albeit reluctant” steps towards supporting Indigenous filmmakers.

His latest film, Blood Quantum was referred to as an “important step for Native filmmaking” in one glowing review.

Barnaby says it took 13 years from coming up with the idea and finding the funding to getting Blood Quantum made and out to the masses.

Originally aired May 12, 2020


Families in crisis before COVID-19 will be ‘worse off’ coming out pandemic says advocate

The head of a anti-poverty advocacy group in Manitoba says it’s worried about families and the austerity measures governments are likely to put in place, post-pandemic.

Kate Kehler is executive director of the Winnipeg Social Planning Council (WSPC).

The WPSC is among a group of organizations pushing for the continuation of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, also known as CERB, post-pandemic.

That and more on this episode of Face to Face.

Originally aired May 5, 2020


Social media project leads to book deal for Cree artist

It all started as a social media project.

Little did Paul Seesequasis know it would eventually lead to a book deal and a visual exhibition.

Seesequasis started going through photos in archives, libraries and museums, collecting photos from the 1920s through the ’70s.

Historical photos of everyday life in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

Shortly after sharing them on Twitter and Facebook, people started commenting and recognizing family members and friends.

Originally aired April 28, 2020


Manitoba must get ‘creative’ to keep parents, kids in care connected during pandemic

Manitoba’s child advocate says the province must get creative when it comes to keeping families and children in care of the state in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing has become the rule.

Changes to visitation rights during the pandemic is a huge shift for kids and families, Daphne Penrose, Manitoba’s Advocate for Children and Youth told Host Dennis Ward on Face to Face.

Originally aired April 21, 2020


It was a monumental moment’: APTN News playing a vital role for 20 years

APTN News is marking its 20th anniversary this week.

On April 16, 2000, what was then known as InVision News, hit the airwaves.

Bruce Spence has been with APTN National News, since day one.

Spence is a senior producer and line up editor at APTN National News and has seen it all.

Originally aired April 14, 2020


Forced sterilization a symptom of ‘colonial hangover’ says lawyer

More than 100 Indigenous women in Canada have come forward with stories of forced or coerced sterilization and lawyer Alisa Lombard says it’s nothing new in Canada, nor is it illegal.

Lombard is a partner with Saskatchewan based, Semanganis Worme Lombard and is heading up a proposed class action lawsuit representing Indigenous women who have been forced or coerced into sterilization.

Originally aired April 7, 2020


Indigenous lawyer Don Worme says upbringing led him to life of fighting against injustice

Don Worme has taken on cases for families who have had a loved one shot and killed by police and who have died while incarcerated.

Often, the long-time defence lawyer represents families of those who are at odds with the justice system.

Worme said we need people to stand up and speak out against that injustice and that is something that his grandfather instilled in him.

Originally aired March 31, 2020


‘Nobody cares about us up there’: Attawapiskat singer songwriter Adrian Sutherland says

Traditionally, Adrian Sutherland made an effort to not be so politically charged in his approach to writing music.

That changed when he released his debut solo single, Politician Man.

The song was born out of long standing issues in Sutherland’s home community of Attawapiskat and the frustrations of trying to raise a family on the First Nation in northern Ontario.

Originally aired March 24, 2020


Interest sparked in Indigenous languages ‘like a hot July fire on the prairies’ says Cree host

His face, voice and clothing have all become synonymous with Rogers Hometown Hockey in Cree on APTN.

It’s not Earl Wood’s first rodeo – he’s been an MC at pow wows and for various sporting events for decades.

The historic first game in March 2019 was, however, the first time Wood had been on television and all that comes with it.

Originally aired March 17, 2020


Lands under attack ‘for profit and for colonialism’ says artist and activist

Victoria Redsun says it is difficult to be a young, Indigenous person in an urban environment right now.

The 20 year old Denesuline poet, performer, filmmaker and activist is based in Winnipeg.

She says you only have to walk down the streets of Winnipeg to see the ongoing effects of colonialism.

But Redsun says she felt safe and accepted during her time at the Unist’ot’en healing centre in British Columbia.

Originally aired March 10, 2020


Energy sector advocate wonders ‘who’s pulling the strings’ in opposing oil and gas projects in Canada

Stephen Buffalo feels there is a lot of misrepresentation around the resource sector and Indigenous people’s opposition to it.

Buffalo is the CEO and president of the Indian Resource Council, representing roughly 130 First Nation communities that are producing or have the potential to produce oil and gas.

During this episode of Face to Face, Buffalo discusses opportunities and challenges in the energy sector, recent and ongoing protests and blockades and the Wet’suwet’en conflict.

Originally aired March 3, 2020


Metis leader warns that Ontario is the gateway to ‘eastern invasion’

The future of role of the Metis Nation of Ontario within the Metis National Council is a “pivotal debate” says a spokesperson with the national organization.

David Chartrand, speaking in the second part of a Face to Face interview with Host Dennis Ward that is set to run Tuesday night, is also the long time president of the Manitoba Metis Federation says Ontario is the “gateway to the eastern invasion.”

Originally aired February 25, 2020


Trans Mountain pipeline ‘important for this country’ says Metis leader

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is a great opportunity, economically for Metis people says David Chartrand.

The long-time President of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is also currently the national spokesperson of the Metis National Council (MNC).

Chartrand recently applauded the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal to uphold the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

According to Chartrand, Trans Mountain is a nation-building project.

Originally aired February 18, 2020


‘I was born into opposition’: Eriel Deranger talks about her roots of pushing back

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger jokes about coming up with chants and making protest signs being her arts and crafts while growing up.

Just prior to her birth, Deranger’s family was forcibly removed from their trap line in northern Saskatchewan in order to make way for a uranium mine.

Deranger, who is Dene and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, then spent the early years of her life growing up downstream from the Alberta oil sands.

Originally aired February 11, 2020


Music industry trailblazer Elaine Bomberry says more investment in artists needed

Elaine Bomberry is a trailblazer in the music industry.

For the past three decades, she has produced award winning shows like Rez Bluez on APTN, and managed Juno award winning artists.

Bomberry also helped co-create a Juno award category solely for Indigenous artists.

But at the start of her career, there were very few Indigenous people working behind the scenes in the music industry.

Originally aired February 4, 2020


SCO Grand Chief says ‘societal change’ needed to end millennial scoop

On this episode of Face to Face: Jerry Daniels has a lot of priorities for his second term as the grand chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) in Manitoba.

Improving health outcomes, supporting families, bringing children home, reducing the number of Indigenous peoples incarcerated and tackling the meth crisis are just some of the issues Daniels hopes to address.

Originally aired January 28, 2020


NHL announcer overcomes odds to realize lifelong dream

On this episode of Face to Face: Clarence Iron has overcome many challenges in his lifetime.

Now, he says he’s let go of drugs and alcohol and has been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Iron, who is a member of Canoe Lake Cree Nation, recently signed a three-year deal with Rogers to provide play by play for Rogers Hometown Hockey in Cree on APTN.

Originally aired January 21, 2020


Satirical group promoting pipeline through golf courses, cemeteries and schools

On this episode of Face to Face: Energy is life – that’s the tagline for one of the videos online promoting the Indigenous Pipeline Council.

The videos are pranks but the reactions from the people in them are real.

The Indigenous Pipeline Council is the work of comedians and environmental rights activists, Gitz Crazyboy and Tito Ybarra.

Crazyboy is from Alberta and grew up near the oil sands.

Ybarra is from the Red Lake Tribe in Minnesota, in the pathway of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.

Originally aired January 14, 2020


Master carver feels ‘immense responsibility’ to the Witness Blanket

On this episode of Face to Face: The Witness Blanket will forever stand as a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian Residential School era.

It was a huge undertaking for artist and Master Carver Carey Newman and his team.

More than 800 pieces were gathered from survivors and sites of 77 Residential Schools across Canada.

Originally aired January 7, 2020


Music is ‘my therapy and my outlet’ says Don Amero

On this episode of Face to Face: Life could have turned out a lot different for Don Amero.

The award winning musician’s parents split up when he was around 11 years old in what he says was a “really bad divorce.”

Growing up, there was always music in the house. Both of Amero’s parents played and sang.

Life in the north end of Winnipeg was also rough where Amero says there was a high rate of poverty and a lot of broken homes.

For Amero, music quickly became his vice.

Originally aired December 17, 2019


APTN has proven ‘misconceptions false’ about Indigenous network says outgoing CEO Jean La Rose

On this episode of Face to Face – Our conversation with Jean La Rose continued: APTN is marking 20 years on the air and in doing so, it’s proving the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done, wrong says long time CEO Jean La Rose.

For those who say “Indigenous people can’t manage their own affairs, no matter what you throw at them it’s either wasted or misspent, I think not only is APTN but many other organizations now are proving those conceptions to be totally false” says La Rose.

Originally aired December 10, 2019


‘We had to prove ourselves in ways that others don’t’: APTN’s outgoing CEO

In this episode of APTN Face to Face: When Jean La Rose was brought on as CEO of APTN the network was in a difficult spot.

It was 2002 and the broadcaster was still in its infancy. It was also on the brink of going off the air.

APTN was nearly $6-million dollars in debt and the financial situation meant many tough decisions had to be made.

While that may have been a low point for the network, there have been many milestones for the CEO who is leaving the network in December after 17 years.

Originally aired December 3, 2019


Fort William chief wants to rebuild relationship with Thunder Bay mayor

In this episode of APTN Face to Face: The long-time chief of Fort William First Nation hopes the relationship with the mayor of Thunder Bay can be repaired.

Earlier this year, Peter Collins, chief and the CEO of Fort William, called for Bill Mauro to step down from his role on the embattled Thunder Bay Police Services Board.

That and more in this episode of Face to Face.

Originally aired November 26, 2019


People’s attitudes around reconciliation still need to change says award winning playwright Ian Ross

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: All good plays ask a question according to award winning Anishinaabe playwright and author, Ian Ross.

Ross’ latest offering, The Third Colour explores the notion of reconciliation and poses the question, what’s next?

Originally aired November 19, 2019


Police and media have more work to do when covering cases of MMIWG says Bernadette Smith

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: Growing up, Bernadette Smith never visited the Manitoba legislature.

Smith didn’t see the legislature as a place that reflected her as an Indigenous person. So, to be in her second term as the NDP MLA for the riding of Point Douglas is “very surreal.”

One of the first pieces of legislation Smith brought forward was an amendment to the province’s child welfare act. It was an effort to ensure children would not be taken away from their families out of poverty.

Originally aired November 12, 2019


‘We need a movement right now’: says NDP MP Leah Gazan

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: Leah Gazan is looking to bring the grassroots to the House of Commons.

Clean air, clean water, food security, affordable housing and basic human rights are all among the issues Gazan has been advocating for her whole life.

The newly elected NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre hopes becoming a federal politician provides a new platform to bring these issues forward.

Originally aired November 5, 2019


‘Reconciliation is a political word that’s been co-opted’: says musician Jeremy Dutcher

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: Jeremy Dutcher released his debut album, “Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa” in 2018 which went on to win the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and the 2019 Juno Award for Indigenous Music Album of the Year.

Dutcher used his acceptance speech at the Juno’s to take aim at Prime Minister Trudeau saying a Nation to Nation relationship does not look like pipelines, boil water advisories or sending militarized police into unceded territory.

Originally aired October 29, 2019


100 years of forced isolation ‘devastating’ says former chief

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: In 1919, construction on an aqueduct to provide the growing city of Winnipeg with clean drinking was completed. Shoal Lake 40s prime land was expropriated for the massive project and the community was turned into a man made island.

Shoal Lake 40 fell under one of the longest boil water advisories in Canada and people literally died just trying to get home.

Erwin Redsky was the long-time Chief of Shoal Lake 40. He says the 100 years of forced isolation have “been devastating.”

Originally aired October 22, 2019


Growing up in care is a ‘life long curse’ says Natasha Okemow

In this episode of APTN Face To Face: Natasha (Reimer) Okemow was first placed into the child welfare system in Manitoba when she was one-year-old.

During her time in the system, Okemow had 12 different homes, went to four different schools and lived in five different towns.

Even though she aged out of care at the age of 21, Okemow knows she can never escape the system because of a controversial practice in Manitoba known as birth alerts.

Originally aired October 15, 2019


Riley Yesno says no to a life in politics but will keep pushing for equality

On the season premiere of APTN Face To Face: Riley Yesno, an Anishinaabe woman from Eabametoong First Nation in northern Ontario who grew up in Thunder Bay.

Yesno was a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council.

And earlier this year, she spoke in the House of Commons during the daughters of the vote where she raised the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Originally aired October 8, 2019