iw photo 2A new public access TV program will showcase Montreal Indigenous peoples and services offered to help them survive in the city.

Beginning this September, Indigenous Power will be hosted by Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal (NWSM). Part of a Bell initiative to create community television, it will be available through On Demand via the Bell Fibe digital TV service.

Though Nakuset isn’t paid for writing, producing and hosting the show, she has access to a professional crew to ensure professional editing and technical aspects of the program.

Already a busy person with her fulltime gig running the NWSM and numerous public speaking activities on behalf of the city’s Indigenous community, Nakuset said the opportunity arose from her frequent CTV interviews on Indigenous-related issues.

This led to an editorial board meeting at CTV Montreal with other individuals from the Indigenous community to help the station beef up local First Nations content.

“At the end of the meeting they said, ‘By the way, CTV is owned by Bell and we have this thing called Bell Local, and we would like to know if there are any Aboriginals out there who would like to have a TV show,’” Nakuset recounted.

“I told them that I would love to be the Indian Oprah! While everybody laughed, they did call me the next day and said I could have a show.”

Nakuset recognized a huge opportunity to put her passion and energy into showcasing the talent and accomplishments of Montreal’s urban Aboriginal population for a wider audience.

nakusetWhile brainstorming for the show, Nakuset said it was easy with interview subjects to highlight because her work at the NWSM and the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal, as well participating in numerous committees and initiatives over the last two decades.

Artists like the Buffalo Hat Singers, Timothy Armstrong, drum group Odaia and throat singer Nina Segelles immediately came to mind for an episode on traditional musicians. Also to be featured are mainstream artists like singer Elisapie Isaac and rapper Samian for a program on pop musicians, and Resolution Pictures’ Ernest Webb for a special on the film and TV industry.

With a total of seven episodes to be filmed this season, Nakuset will also focus on Aboriginal students and the university organizations that support them, the Inspirational Aboriginal Women project, the Cabot Square project and other local initiatives.

Nakuset said the role as TV host comes naturally. She jokingly calls herself the “inquisition-er,” saying that she normally rattles off about 30 questions when she sits down with an interview subject.

“While I am new to this and am not really sure what I am doing, I feel like Andy Warhol because I am just bringing all of these really talented people together and coordinating them,” Nakuset enthused. “I don’t mind being in front of the camera because I do public speaking all of the time, it doesn’t scare me. And, I want to bring this message forward: that there are 26,000 urban Aboriginals in Montreal and these are some of their stories.”

Indigenous Power begins September 22.