Presented by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)
Lisa Meeches, Indigenous Training Programs Advisor
Lisa is one of the most dynamic and respected producers in the film industry, and a proud Ojibway from Long Plain First Nation.
One of her recent projects, four-time Canadian Screen Award nominee and two-time time winner, We Were Children is widely praised by residential school survivors for its power to heal, while general audiences have been moved by its accurate and truthful portrayal of the impacts of Canada’s colonial past.
Lisa has produced numerous projects to critical acclaim. Among them: more than 150 hours of The Sharing Circle, Canada’s longest-running Aboriginal television series; Ice Road Truckers, one of the most prolific television documentary series in US television history; Tipi Tales, a Parent’s Choice award-winning children’s series; Elijah, a Gemini Award-winning MOW; and the three-time nominated, two-time Canadian Screen Award-winner JACK.
As host of The Sharing Circle, Lisa is a recognizable presence across Canada. She conducts her film industry work through her three companies: Eagle Vision Inc, Meeches Video Productions and Century Street Distribution. Other Eagle Vision Inc. productions include: Lovesick starring Jay Baruchel and Jessica Pare, Walk All Over Me, which premiered at TIFF and sold to the Weinstein Company, the politically-charged romantic comedy Blue State and the Academy Award-winning feature film Capote.
After studying broadcasting in North Dakota, Lisa began her career in 1986 with the Winnipeg-based Native Media Network. She later began news reporting for Craig Broadcasting Systems in Manitoba and Alberta where she established a liaison team who connected the newsroom with surrounding First Nations communities.
Lisa also devotes considerable time to other causes. She has been critical to the success of the Manito Ahbee Festival since inception 11 years ago where she has acted in the capacity of board chair on a volunteer basis until recently stepping down to assume the role of executive director. Lisa also sits on the national board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. True to her heritage, Lisa practices the customs of her faith and is a renowned champion fancy shawl dancer.
Lisa has been the recipient of many local, regional and national awards for her exemplary contributions in culture, media and entrepreneurship. Among her numerous awards and nominations are: the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communication, the 2009 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the area of Creative Communications, the 2009 University of Manitoba’s Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award and the Women in Film and Television 2009 Crystal Award for Mentorship.
In 2013 Lisa was honoured to receive the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Circle of Inspiration award along with colleagues Ursula Lawson and Melissa Kajpust for their contribution to the CBC New Indigenous Voices course.
Currently, Lisa is working on Season II of Taken for APTN and CBC. Season I premiered in September 2016. Taken is a true crime documentary series focusing on solving the mysteries behind Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Lisa is married and has two wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter.
Ursula Lawson, Manager
Ursula has been with NSI since 2004 and is a manager of programs and development, working on many of NSI’s courses.
As program manager of CBC New Indigenous Voices (formerly NSI New Voices) and co-manager of NSI IndigiDocs, she has been instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver culturally sensitive film and television training to emerging Indigenous film and content creators.
In 2013 Ursula was honoured to receive the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Circle of Inspiration award along with colleagues Lisa Meeches and Melissa Kajpust for their contribution to the CBC New Indigenous Voices course.
Ursula previously managed the NSI Aboriginal Journalism pilot program; coordinated NSI Global Marketing, NSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win! She is also secretary of the NSI Board of Directors.
Prior to working at the National Screen Institute, Ursula held management positions in both the hospitality and healthcare industries.
Kaya Wheeler, Indigenous Programs & Administrative Assistant
As Indigenous programs and administrative assistant Kaya assists with the day-to-day running of CBC New Indigenous Voices and pitches in wherever else she can.
She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Indigenous studies and since her graduation has worked within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg.
Kaya spent a large portion of her life on the ‘fringes’ of the television industry, and you may even be able to catch a cameo or two (or more) of her on North of 60.
She loves to travel and find new adventures.
She currently lives with her partner and their very spoiled (but deserving) dog Max.
Indigenous and life guidance
Colin Mousseau, Elder/Traditional Advisor
Dr. Winona Wheeler, Indigenous History
Brendon Sawatzky, Inferno Pictures
Jeff Newman, Nüman Films
Cam Bennett, MTS
Kim Wheeler, CBC
Stephanie Brown, CBC
Paul Barnsley, APTN
Nadia Gaudet, APTN
Shelley MacDougall, APTN
Jordan Wheeler, Writer
Shereen Jerrett, Writer/director
Other industry resources
Anita Lubosch, Sound Technician
Taavo Soodor, Production Designer
Julie Hackett, Film Editor
Monique Perro, City of Winnipeg
Liz Hover, National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)
Louise O’Brien-Moran, Manitoba Film & Music
Craig Aftanas, William F. White
Darcy Fehr, Actor
Rosanna Deerchild, CBC Radio – Unreserved