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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


October 18, 2003 - Issue 98


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Moccasin Flats-The Series

credits: Justin Kristin Michelle. Photo by Penny Gummerson

Scene from Moccasin FlatsToronto, Ontario - MOCCASIN FLATS is a six part dramatic television series exploring the harsh realities of life in Regina's North Central neighborhood known as Moccasin Flats. Directed by AWARD WINNING CANADIAN DIRECTOR Stacey Stewart Curtis, Moccasin Flats is Canada's first dramatic television series to be created, written, produced and performed by an Aboriginal production team. Broadcasters include APTN (The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), Showcase Television and SCN (Saskatchewan Communications Network). Premiering on November 10th at 10:30 PM ET / 7:30 PM PT, on APTN.

Moccasin Flats was first developed as training initiative by Jennifer Podemski and Laura J. Milliken of Toronto's BIG SOUL PRODUCTIONS (The Seventh Generation, repREZentiní). In the summer of 2002, Big Soul Productions brought a script for a short film and a crew of five to Regina, hired 40 local Aboriginal youth to work behind the scenes and star in the film and the result was a hard-hitting realistic portrayal of life in the North Central neighborhood Moccasin Flats.

Moccasin Flats (the film), was invited to screen at the Sundance International Film Festival and The Toronto International Film Festival and received critical acclaim throughout Canada and the United States. It went on to screen at The Reel World Film Festival, Arizona Film Festival, The Canadian World Wide Short Film Festival and The Yorkton Short Film Festival where it received the NFB Award for "Innovation in Television".

The success of the film led executive producers/creators, Jennifer Podemski and Laura J. Milliken to develop the idea into a television series. Moccasin Flats is now one of the few Canadian television series this year to receive it's funding through Telefilm and The Candian Television Fund.

Moccasin Flats went into production on JULY 17, 2003 in North Central Regina. The cast includes: Tantoo Cardinal (Dances With Wolves, Looking for Lost Bird), Gordon Tootoosis (Legends of the Fall, The Doe Boy), Michelle Thrush (Dead Man, Donít Call Me Tonto) and a host of new talent from the North Central area and neighboring First Nation communities.

Jennifer Podemski and Laura Milliken have always made it their mandate to train aboriginal youth in the film and television industry, it is for this reason that they endeavored to partner the production of Moccasin Flats with an intensive behind the scenes training program entitled The repREZentin Media Empowerment Training Program. Thirty youth from the area were accepted into the program. Each participant received 5 days of in-class training from SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Science and Technology) and over 300 hundred practical hours on the set of Moccasin Flats. Each youth graduated with a diploma in film and television production from SIAST as well as a certificate of completion from the training program.

Actors, producers, director and writer are available for interviews upon request. Tapes available upon request. Please contact:
Debra Goldblatt at rock-it promotions at 416.489.0055 or or
Chris Allicock at APTN at 416.254.1064 or

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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