Most Canadians have never taken the time to get to know Indigenous People or visit their communities. Now, the APTN network has produced a 3-part documentary called First Contact, which takes six average Canadians, all with strong opinions about Indigenous People, on a unique 28-day journey into Indigenous Canada. Leaving their everyday lives behind, the six will travel deep into Winnipeg, Nunavut, Alberta, Northern Ontario, and the coast of BC to visit Indigenous communities.

“We are incredibly proud of all of the people who participated in this journey with us,” says Executive Producer Vanessa Loewen, Animiki See Digital Productions Inc., who co-produced the series with APTN. “It takes a lot of courage to immerse and expose oneself to an experience like this and we are blessed that the communities across Canada opened their doors to us. This raw and honest account will undoubtedly inspire empathy and awareness of Indigenous culture by Canadians coast-to-coast.”

The six participants include a 32-year old personal fitness trainer from Ottawa, a 26-year old lobster fisherman/welder from New Brunswick, a 65-year old retired truck driver from Alberta, a 36-year old team leader from Ingersoll, a 50-year old accountant from Edmonton, and a 28-year old stay-at-home mom from Chilliwack, B.C.

Narrated by host and social justice activist George Stroumboulopoulos, First Contact is now available for viewing on the APTN website. The idea for the program came from Australia, where six European Australians who are challenged over a period of 28 days about their pre-existing perceptions of Indigenous Australians. It ran from November, 2014 to December, 2016, and was narrated by Hugo Weaving.

The entire series can be viewed at http://aptn.ca/firstcontact.

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