Trip to Moose Jaw by Samantha

Samantha and her family live on a family farm near Ponteix, SK. Recently, they took a road trip to Moose Jaw. Samantha came to my digital storytelling workshop in Ponteix with the photos that she took from her family trip and produced this digital story.


Entre Saskatoon et Vancouver by Cindy

Cindy’s digital story is about a trip she took by train from Saskatoon to Vancouver. This story was produced in my digital storytelling workshop in Ponteix, which was held at the Centre Culturel Royer, where Cindy works. Cindy hosted the workshop, while working at the Centre. She answered the phone and greeted visitors and also participated in the workshop. She even made us all a delicious lunch. Merci, Cindy!

Ponteix is home to a large Fransaskois community to which Cindy belongs. Her digital story is in French with English subtitles.


Canadian Camping Adventure for Newcomer Youth by Allie

Allie Steinley is one of the kindest women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my travels in Saskatchewan this summer. She genuinely cares about helping people, and I loved listening to her stories about her volunteer work overseas while we had lunch at the Ponteix Bakery and Restaurantwhich makes the best long john donuts, by the way!

Not only did Allie help organize the digital storytelling workshop in Ponteix, she also participated in it. Allie wanted to share the story of what happened when she and one of her co-workers at the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre went on two camping adventures this summer with more than 30 newcomer youth living in Saskatchewan. During the workshop, she wrote and produced this touching digital story.



Working on Farm by Ashley

Ashley took my digital storytelling workshop in Ponteix with her mother and two sisters. She wanted to tell a story about working on the farm with her family and how everyone helps one another. She produced this lovely digital story that gives a glimpse of what life on a farm is like from a young girl’s perspective. This workshop was hosted by the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre and the Cultural Centre Royer.

Stories from Southwest Saskatchewan

I am staying at a beautiful bed and breakfast on a farm near Wymark, SK, which is about 20 kilometres south of Swift Current.

Ponteix - field IMG_6518

When I pulled up to the house last night, three (of nine) farm cats and two dogs greeted me.


Just outside the patio doors to my bedroom are pigs, horses and a chicken coop. Right now, I can hear sheep having a conversation with the cows from my window.

ponteix - chickens

I grew up in Saskatoon and have not had much experience with farm life. It’s fitting that I’m staying here, since I’m facilitating a digital storytelling workshop in Ponteix, SK and several of the participants are doing their stories on the family farm. The workshop is organized by the Southwest Welcome Newcomer Centre and is being held at the Cultural Centre in Ponteix, or perhaps more commonly known to the locals as Le Centre Culturel Royer.

Just a few weeks ago, Ponteix celebrated its 100th anniversary. It’s a town of about 600 people with a lively Francophone community. In the early 20th century, Ponteix was founded by a priest from France and became a French settlement. Father Albert Marie Royer named the town Ponteix after the church he served in France. This afternoon I wandered through the cemetery and noticed that many of the surnames on the graves were indeed French.


One woman in the workshop is doing her digital story in French with English subtitles. Another young girl is working on a story about moving to Saskatchewan from the Philippines. And one participant’s story is on cross-cultural friendships formed among young people at a leadership camp.

Ponteix class

I’m looking forward to watching these digital narratives from Southwest Saskatchewan and sharing them with you.



International Indigenous Art Program at NAIG 2014

At the closing ceremonies of the North American Indigenous Games, youth from across North America, in collaboration with senior artists and emerging artists, presented a 15-minute performance that they created in 5 days as part of the International Indigenous Art Program (IIAP).

The senior artists were Cheryl L’Hirondelle (interdisciplinary), Jason Baerg (visual art), Ramses Calderon (music), Erroll Kinistino (theatre and dance) and Lyndon Tootoosis (sculpture, traditional carving). Each senior artist mentored one of the emerging artists, Nicole Akan (theatre), Jules Beudin-Herney (visual art), Candy Fox (film/video), Lacy Morin-Desjarlais (dance) and Garnett “Misfit” Tootoosis (music).

I had the honour of making a digital story (shown above), which documents the participants’ creative process in 5 days. Congratulations to everyone involved on an incredible final performance!

The IIAP is funded through the Creative Partnerships Raising the Bar program. Creative Partnerships is a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture with funding from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. The Regina 2014 NAIG entered into a partnership with Sâkêwêwak First Nations Artists’ Collective to deliver the program and administer the residency.


International Indigenous Art Program

At the closing ceremonies of the North American Indigenous Games on Saturday, youth from across North America will present a 15-minute performance that they have been working on with senior and emerging artists. The performance is part of the International Indigenous Art Program (IIAP), defined on NAIG’s website as an opportunity “for youth to explore their creative development through a meaningful interactive and collaborative experience with internationally recognized multidisciplinary Indigenous artists.”

I’m honoured to have been asked to make a digital story on the IIAP, which will be shown immediately before the 15-minute performance at the closing ceremonies. It’s been an incredible experience to watch and document their creative process, and I’m looking forward to seeing their work performed on stage.




Corry’s New Beginnings by Bryson

Donald Corry, a clay miner from England, and his wife, Gladys, homesteaded in Ravenscrag, SK in the early 20th Century. They lived in a log house that was relocated from Ravenscrag to the Eastend Historical Museum in the late 1980s, where it remains to this day. My most recent digital storytelling workshop was held at this museum. Digital storytelling is a wonderful way to add narrative to historical photographs. Bryson LaBoissiere works at the museum in Eastend and created this digital story about the Corry couple.


Bryson working on her digital story at the Eastend Historical Museum

Uncle Elmer by Sandra

About 20 people showed up to Movie Night at the Museum, held at the Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre, to watch the digital stories that workshop participants in Shaunavon, SK created earlier this week. Sandra’s story is on her uncle Elmer who experienced hearing loss from an ear infection in the 1930s.


Stories of the land from Eastend, SK

“Better to go outdoors. Better to see the flash of warblers in the willows, to smell the spicy aroma of sage, to hear the bright gurgle of the creek as it speeds under the footbridge. Better just to be here and try to accept the solace of this land that refuses to let us forget.”

– Candace Savage, A Geography of Blood

I’ve been staying in Eastend, SK in a charming house that was mail-ordered from an Eaton’s catalogue many years ago. Eastend is home to an Arts Council and the Wallace Stegner House, which provides residency to artists. It’s a quiet, friendly town with a population of approximately 600. The Eastend Historical Museum is hosting one of my digital storytelling workshops July 17-18.

While packing the car for the drive here, my roommate came out of our house and handed me Candace Savage’s award-winning book, A Geography of Blood, which is set in Eastend and Cypress Hills. “Have you read this?” He asked. I hadn’t, though I’d almost bought it several times at various bookstores. It seems serendipitous that I’d held out on reading it until now.

Savage, a Saskatchewan writer, who has stayed at the Stegner House, and now owns a house in Eastend, admirably balances her appreciation for this stunning landscape with an acknowledgement of her white-settler background. In A Geography of Blood, she delves into the disturbing history of Cypress Hills, specifically the government-sanctioned slaughter of bison to purposefully starve Indigenous people, the massacre of the Nakoda at Fort Walsh, and the establishment of farms in the name of so-called progress. Savage digs up the uncomfortable stories buried in the hills and valleys of the Plains while maintaining her love and appreciation for the land.

Here are some photos that were taken on the drive to Eastend and around this area.


1947 REO Speedwagon near Caronport


The band, REO Speedwagon, was named after a truck like this.


Canola field near Caronport


Cotton Candy Cloud in Eastend


Bald Butte at Cypress Hills Provincial Park