As a CBC Broadcaster, Wab Kinew hosted a series of programs entitled 8th Fire – Aboriginal People, Canada and the Way Forward. The title 8th Fire is a reference to the Anishinaabe prophecy “that suggests now is the time to fix the relationship between Indigenous people and others. Embracing a way of life built on spirituality, respect for one another, and respect for the Earth will create a fire that can burn forever, which is the way for us to build a sustainable society that can last long into the future.” (Kinew, 2015, P. 108).
I recommend all of the four episodes as well as the Aboriginal 101 series however, I suggest that you begin with the brief interview between Wab and George Stroumboulopoulos about the reason for the 8th Fire series. The opening visual images are very powerful and Wab talks about the opportunity through ‘open minds and open hearts’ (a 2020 call!). Then move on to the opening episode entitled Indigenous in the City. With over half the Indigenous population in Canada now living in the cities, this is a compelling invitation to ‘meet your neighbours’ – and in so doing become more aware and engaged. You will see some familiar BC faces: Dr. Evan Adams (now leading the First Nations Health Authority), Lynda Gray (former Urban Native Youth Association ED and author of First Nations 101), Leslie Varley (director of the Provincial Health Services Authority Aboriginal Health Program) as well as people from across the country that share stories, challenge myths and assumptions, and invite curiosity about being an Indigenous person in Canadian cities.