TIFA colour divider

Cody Caetano is a writer of Anishinaabe and Portuguese descent and an off-reserve member of Pinaymootang First Nation. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto, where he wrote this memoir under the mentorship of Lee Maracle. Excerpts of Half-Bads in White Regalia earned him a 2020 Indigenous Voices Award for Unpublished Prose.

Jill Carter is an Anishinaabe-Ashkenazi theatre worker and educator based in Tkaron:to.

Audrey Rochette is Anishinaabe from Waabadowgang-Whitesand First Nation. As Director, Indigenous Initiatives, she leads George Brown College’s efforts to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action and oversees Indigenization measures as part of the college’s Vision 2030/Strategy 2022 initiative. Audrey’s passion for Indigenous relations was cultivated through her roles in the Indigenous community as the Senior Development Officer with Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people, and with imagineNATIVE, the largest Indigenous film festival in the world.  She currently sits on several committees in different sectors committed to reconciliation work. She is the daughter of a residential school survivor.

Lena Recollet is Anishinaabe from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Terrritory. She currently resides in Toronto – Tkaronto and is a multi-disciplinary artist. She received Best Spoken Word Recording at the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards. The pivotal moment where she realized she was a writer was when she made her first short film Eggs Instead, which won the Cynthia-Lickers Sage Award for Emerging Talent from the ImagineNative Film + Media Festival in 2006. Currently she is working on sketch comedy for an upcoming recording in front of a live studio audience Indig-E Girl.

Kim Wheeler is a Mohawk/Anishinaabe kwe who has brought positive Indigenous stories to mainstream and Indigenous media since 1993. She has carved out a career as a writer, publicist and producer across a variety of disciplines. Her audio work has been recognized by the New York Festivals, ImagineNative, Indigenous Music Awards and Prix Italia. Currently, Kim works from her treehouse media office with multiple clients in publicity, magazines, film and podcasts. She is also the host of The Kim Wheeler Show on SiriusXM.

Jesse Wente is an Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster and arts leader. Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek and he is a member of the Serpent River First Nation. Best known for more than two decades spent as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, he also worked at the Toronto International Film Festival for eleven years. In February 2018 he was named the first Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office. Wente was appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts in 2020, the only First Nations person to ever hold the position.

Lynn Lavallée is Anishinaabe registered with the Metis Nation of Ontario. She explicitly positions herself in the academy, identifying her family and ancestry because of the cultural fraud that is emerging given opportunities being afforded to people who self-identify as Indigenous. Lynn’s maternal ancestry includes the last names of Godon, McIvor, Swain, Lillie, Larocque, Labelle, Lafond and Courchesne from the Red River and Anishinaabe territories of Swan Lake, Maniwaki, Timmins and Sudbury. Her paternal relations include the last names Lavallee, Gauthier, Pepin, Richard, Taylor, McKaye and Champagne from the Metis and Anishinaabe territories of Temiscaming, Mattawa, Sudbury and Algoma. 

Lynn completed a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Psychology, Master of Science in Community Health and Doctorate in Social Work. She has worked as an assistant professor at Ryerson Universitychair of the Research Ethics Board, associate director and acting director of the School of Social Work, senator and was University of Manitoba’s first vice provost of Indigenous engagementShe currently holds the position of strategic lead, Indigenous resurgence in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University. Her research expertise lies in the area of Indigenous research ethics, Indigenous research methodology, and Indigenous health and well-being. Lynn achieved full professor status in 2019. 

Duncan McCue, an award-winning journalist, is the host of CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup. McCue was a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver for over 15 years. Now based in Toronto, his news and current affairs pieces continue to be featured on CBC’s flagship news show, The National. He is currently producing a podcast on Indian residential school history. He was part of a CBC Aboriginal investigation into missing and murdered Indigenous women that won numerous honours including the Hillman Award for Investigative Journalism. In 2017, he was presented with an Indspire Award for Public Service.

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist, web writer, producer and radio host. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons. 

Waubgeshig Rice’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Pratibha Arts.