Successful mentorships, apprenticeships streaming in for ISO-Netflix partnership

Successful mentorships, apprenticeships streaming in for ISO-Netflix partnership

by ahnationtalk on May 4, 202158 Views

Toronto _ Through the Indigenous Screen Office, Netflix has supported 49 Indigenous apprenticeship and mentorship projects with over $700,000 in funding over the last year. This brings the total of projects funded to 49 with just under $1 million in support since the program’s launch in 2019.

The ISO received nearly three times the amount of funding requests than the available funds to fulfill them in the last deadline, which was completed in March 2021. This is exciting news because it shows the growth of the Indigenous media industry in Canada.

“Netflix was the ISO’s first program funding partner and their support has allowed us to create this important opportunity, uniquely tailored to the needs of the Indigenous screen sector,” said Kerry Swanson, managing director of the ISO.

“The Indigenous Screen Office has provided important support to Indigenous creators from across the country,” said Stéphane Cardin, Director of Public Policy for Netflix in Canada. “The last year has been a challenging one for the creative sector, and we are thrilled that this funding has been able to provide additional support to so many talented new voices in our industry.”

Two streams were created for the ISO-Netflix partnership: the Indigenous Production Apprenticeships created new opportunities for hands-on training and career progression for Indigenous creatives who wanted to take their careers to the next level; and the Cultural Mentorships provided opportunities for Indigenous creators to engage in cultural mentorship, engagement, learning, and protocols work during the development and pre-development phases of their projects.

British Columbia-based producer Leena Minifie was a recipient of the apprenticeship program to mentor under a more experienced producer for a large-scale historical series production.

“The ISO/Netflix grant came during a difficult time. The world was realizing the seriousness of the pandemic, productions were shutting down, and opportunities were drying up. But this grant helped me to continue working with my mentor while still forging ahead on our documentary series,” said Minifie.

Marie Clements’ company Aayasew Ooksana, also based in BC, will mentor an emerging Indigenous production manager in the more senior role of unit manager. The training is part of a larger initiative providing workforce development opportunities for Indigenous crew on Clements’ series Bones of Crows.

“The ISO/Netflix support of Indigenous training on our production is a game changer. It enables us to not only continue to develop Indigenous talent in front of and behind-the-scenes, but it allows us to invest in each other, the stories we are passionate about telling and each other’s future productions,” said Clements.

The ISO’s goal in partnering with Netflix was successfully achieved in providing new funding opportunities to support training, capacity building and culturally-specific approaches for Indigenous on-screen content creators. All of the funding provided by Netflix since 2019 has gone directly to Indigenous creators and companies, with additional funding to the program provided by the ISO.

“The support of Netflix was vital, not just to the recipients but also in the ISO’s development as an organization, and we look forward to continuing this work together,” said Swanson.

Information about the next deadline for the ISO-Netflix Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship Programs will be available September 2021 at

The full list of the ISO-Netflix’s Indigenous Production Apprenticeships and Cultural Mentorships:


  1. Amanda Strong, BC
  2. Ayasew Ooskana Pictures Inc., BC
  3. Big Soul Productions Inc., ON
  4. Carmen Thompson, BC
  5. Cole Vandale, BC
  6. Heather Hatch, AB
  7. Jessie Anthony, BC
  8. Jonathan Elliott, ON
  9. Jordan Molaro, MB
  10. Maaiingan Productions, ON
  11. Micheal Auger, BC
  12. Nechako Films Inc., BC
  13. Pete Kytwayhat, BC
  14. Rezolution Pictures, QC
  15. Rhonda Lucy, ON
  16. Roseanne Supernault, AB
  17. Stefany K Mathias, BC
  18. Stephanie Joline, NS
  19. Tristin Greyeyes, BC
  20. Tundra Friends, ON


  1. Boyer Thomas Productions, MB
  2. Experimental Forest Films, BC
  3. Gail Maurice, ON
  4. Helen-Haig Brown, BC
  5. Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, BC
  6. Jordan Waunch
  7. Judith Shuyler, ON
  8. Kassia Ward, QC
  9. Leena Minifie, BC
  10. Michael Bourquin, BC
  11. Pass Through Productions, BC
  12. Red Marrow Media, NU
  13. Spotted Fawn Productions, BC
  14. Steven Thomas Davies, BC
  15. Tasha Hubbard, SK
  16. Terre Innue, QC
  17. Theresa Stevenson, ON
  18. Trevor Solway, AB
  19. Wanderer Entertainment, ON


  1. Courtnay Crane, BC
  2. Coyote’s Crazy Science Show, BC
  3. Danielle Wilson-Browne, BC
  4. Downstream Productions, SK
  5. First Nations Films, AB
  6. Night Raiders Inc., ON
  7. Nish Media Inc., QC
  8. Rezolution Pictures, QC
  9. Tanya Brunel MB
  10. Taqqut Productions, NU


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