Cover Image for Netflix Filmmakers on Indigenous Media | Mary Teegee & Matt Smiley

Netflix Filmmakers on Indigenous Media | Mary Teegee & Matt Smiley

Avneet Takhar

2 min read

Indigenous people are grossly underrepresented on-screen- and it’s the same behind the scenes. “Gatekeepers” at the top of the Canadian film industry make it difficult for culturally significant stories to surface which wholly plays into the problem of the lack of diversity.

But making their mark in decolonizing these structures one documentary at a time, are film makers Matt Smiley and Mary Teegee who is Gitk'san, of Takla Lake First Nation (and also Executive Director at Carrier Sekani Family Services, which supports Indigenous folks). The dynamic duo are no strangers to working closely together in bringing important issues to the forefront and shedding light on the media’s lack of coverage for disenfranchised populations.

Their documentary Highway of Tears based on a highway on B.C, by which over 80 Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered explores police racism in the unsolved cases.

Their latest documentary For Love, on Netflix (award winner of Best Documentary at Mammoth Film Festival), and narrated by Shania Twain shares the stories of those affected by the Canadian child welfare system, and the generational wounds it has caused.

In this fourth episode, the discussion gets into dismantling discrimination in the digital space, and speaking the truths of Indigenous people loud and clear- on channels that cannot be ignored.

You can also listen to the conversation here via Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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