This event is over.
Solstice Speaker Series: Storytellers: Our Truths. Our Perspectives.
Join us for an intimate conversation with four of Saskatchewan’s premier Indigenous journalists. This moderated panel will not only showcase their personal experiences and work around Truth and Reconciliation – they will share their perspectives on storytelling and how it relates to Indigenous history and culture while using a blend of education and humour.
The panel includes:
- Nelson Bird – CTV Regina
- John Lagimodiere – Owner of Aboriginal Consulting Services (ACS)
- Kerry Benjoe – Editor, Eagle Feather News
- Cherish Francis – VP of Communications & Marketing at Makwa Innovations (Moderator)
Built around the natural calendar, the Solstice Speaker Series is a four-part series sponsored by SGI. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the emotion and changes that happens each season. Topics are current, thought provoking, and designed to create active participation towards Truth and Reconciliation.
Tea and bannock will be served.
Kerry Benjoe is a long-time journalist. She began her career as a freelance writer for Eagle Feather News. In 2006, Kerry became the first Indigenous reporter hired full time at the Regina Leader Post. In 2020, she changed newsrooms and became CBC Saskatchewan’s first Indigenous Storyteller. By the end of 2021, her career came full circle when she became the editor of Eagle Feather News and president of Eagle Feather Media, Saskatchewan’s only provincial Indigenous newspaper. She is also currently teaching a print and online journalism class she developed for the Indigenous Communication Arts Program at the First Nations University of Canada.
Kerry is Saulteaux/Cree from the Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation located in Treaty 4 territory. She attended Day School and graduated from the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School, which is the same school four generations of her family attended.
In 2000, Kerry became the first college graduate in her family with a BA in English and a BA in Indigenous Studies from the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada. In 2020, Kerry completed a multi-media project “minisa; the last generation of residential school survivors” and earned a Master of Journalism from the U of R.
Kerry still enjoys telling stories as well as mentoring up-and-coming journalists in both her current roles as editor and educator. In her spare time, she is part of APTN's Truth and Politics Media Panel and Global Regina’s Political Panel.
Nelson Bird is the assignment editor at CTV Regina News and has been in that position since 2013 He is the former anchor, reporter, and producer of the weekly CTV SK series “Indigenous Circle” which he hosted for more than 15 years. His first language is English but he understands and speaks a limited amount of Cree.
Nelson was born and raised on Peepeekisis First Nation and has lived in Regina for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of University of Regina / First Nations University with a degree in Journalism and Indigenous Studies. He also has a certificate in Indian Communication Arts.
Nelson started with CTV Saskatchewan in 1998 as a video journalist, producer, and anchor person. Over the years, he has won numerous regional, national and international awards for his work including several Radio Television Digital News Association awards.
Nelson is passionate about covering all issues relating to diversity but has a special knowledge and interest in covering Indigenous issues. He regularly mentors and trains young and upcoming journalists.
Cherish believes communication is key in Indigenous communities and has impacted the industry in the prairie provinces. In 2005, she was the youngest female Indigenous video journalist reporting & anchoring CTV News in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Cherish also worked for CTV News Calgary and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network New Saskatchewan Bureau.
In 2012, Cherish was a part of a documentary series that told the stories of Saskatchewan’s Residential School Survivors was the catalyst to be a part of the planning committee for the national “Reconciliation in Media” conference in 2016.
Cherish also served as the Communications Specialist for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and was the Director of Communications for the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.
John Lagimodiere is the owner of Aboriginal Consulting Services (ACS). John is a well-respected Saskatchewan entrepreneur and a member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, CUMFI Local #165 with roots in the Red River.
Born and raised in Saskatoon, John enjoys sports, reading, fishing with friends, and family get togethers with lots of stories, laughs, and games. He worked a variety of jobs before completing his university degree, and shortly after graduation, John partnered with two other University of Saskatchewan graduates in the ACS business and started delivering Indigenous awareness education.
When the opportunity to publish a newspaper came to ACS, the partners started Eagle Feather News (EFN), a monthly newspaper telling the good stories of Indigenous people in Saskatchewan. Today, ACS offers more services and its client list includes international companies, Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, and community organizations. EFN has grown to become Saskatchewan’s largest independent media outlet.