A year of inspiring Indigenous stories

A collage of Indigenous artists featured in The Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories for 2022

A year of inspiring Indigenous stories

Podcast hosts look back at the inspiring Indigenous artists featured this past year

As 2022 comes to a close, hosts Sable Sweetgrass and Cherie McMaster of our Storytelling Podcast: Indigenous Stories reflect on the inspiring artists featured this year, sharing some of their favourite moments and what these artists have taught them. 

“I think my favourite thing about [the podcast] was a lot of the artists that we talked to, I’ve known them for years but have never really had a chance to just talk to them about them, about what they do in their community and what they do for their community,” says Sweetgrass. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot about them personally… and am really looking forward to seeing each and every one of them in person to just continue the discussion and continue the conversations.”

That feeling is echoed by Cherie McMaster. “With these guests… I’ve learned so much about different practices and the ways in which different Indigenous artists are using their art and telling their stories and getting involved in different community,” she says.

The artists profiled this past year serve as inspiration not only to our podcast hosts, but also to others. As one example, Sweetgrass points to Jarret Twoyoungmen, who is making his mark in the film industry and recently worked on the Predator movie. “I was just really surprised getting to know Jarret and the work that he does and that he’s completely self-taught,” she says. “That was amazing to me because working on a major motion picture…that gives a lot of encouragement for anyone out there that was listening who is an aspiring director or cinematographer.”

McMaster recalls an interview with Elijah Wells and Jessica McMann about their dance company, Wild Mint. “I really loved hearing Elijah and Jessica talking about their dance company and the idea of taking a very traditional dance form and flipping it around a little bit and making it non-genderized,” she says. “I think introducing that to new communities and taking some of that — just tweaking it — I found that really a beautiful thing and to open it up to a whole new group of people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate.”

Both Sweetgrass and McMaster say the podcast episode with Troy Emery Twigg recorded outdoors at Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi Provincial Park was uplifting. Sweetgrass says the setting complimented what Twigg had to say about body and movement, as well as information we get from the land. McMaster agreed, adding that Twigg’s creativity is based in nature and that informs the work that he does.

Tune into this week’s Indigenous Stories podcast to learn more about all of the artists who shared their amazing stories this year: Jarret Twoyoungmen, Troy Emery Twigg, Kevin Littlelight, Adrian Stimson, Sikapinakii Low Horn, Jessica McMann and Elijah Wells, Staci Duchene, Sophia Lebessis and Cowboy Smithx. 

About The Storytelling Project: Indigenous Stories

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, affecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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