Indigenous People and the Media

indigenous people and the media project.jpg

History of Pop and Popcorn: 

Popcorn- A traditional Indigenous Food

Did the Indigenous people actually make popcorn?

The Indigenous people made the popcorn. But when they make it and have it as a snack or food. The French explorers explored the Ktunaxa territory and found the Ktunaxa people making popcorn and the French people saw it and claimed it for their province. The world found out how to do it and make more flavors and popcorn all over the world.

The science behind the popcorn

There is a thing called starch in popcorn. The “pop” that the corn makes is when 14% of the kernel is heated. Inside the corn there is a thing called the Gluten. The gluten is like a liquid in the corn. It is sweet and watery. When that gluten reacts with heat it starts to cook in the kernel and that’s how it pops. 

Where did it come from?

Popcorn came from cobs of corn. They found a thing called Plymouth Colony. People thought there was a “Myth” Squanto himself taught the Pilgrims to raise and harvest corn, and pop the kernels for a delicious snack. But that is not that true. 

Diabetes by Having Pop!

After colonization, many foods were introduced to Ktunaxa communities. Some of these foods, although tasty, had negative effects. Pop was one of the drinks introduced and ended up causing a lot of harm to some communities. 

When the people have any pop or any soda they might have a very high chance of getting diabetes. When pop was introduced to the Ktunaxa people[,] they got diabetes right away because their traditional diets did not have such high sugar content. 

Why does pop give you diabetes?

The body digests the sugars from soda quickly. This contributes to insulin resistance and causes rapid spikes in blood sugar. Diabetes raises odds of having heart diseases and possible strokes. Other causes can be eating lots of sugar.   Many drugs can make you constipated, including several that doctors prescribe to people with diabetes. That includes opioids for the pain of peripheral neuropathy, anticholinergic for bladder control, and calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure. Drinking plenty of water also helps a lot and eating things with Fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. 

What are the ingredients in pop?

Soft drinks typically contain carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup sugar, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, citric acid, natural flavors, carbon dioxide, organic diol, and Brominated vegetable oil, in addition to many others. Some of the soda in the thing can be dangerous for some people.

Reserve Systems:

In 1876 the government made the Indian act. This mixed the laws and regulations for the Indigineous peoples in Canada. The government “set aside” a piece of land for the Indigenous people to live and use. This “replaced” the land given to the settlers. These pieces of land were the reserves. The reserves were not very accommodating to the nation’s traditional lands. People were separated from land with significance, and familiar hunting routes and natural resources were lost. 

The current, 2022, Chief and Council for Lower Kootenay Band consists of          

  • Nasukin (Chief) Jason Louie
  • Councillor Cherie Luke
  • Councillor Robert Louie Sr.
  • Councillor Josie Fullarton 
  • Councillor Sandra Luke        

In many historical documents, the government says they “gave” or “set aside '' land for First Nations groups but in reality First Nations people were living and using the land for 1000s of years. They were on it first, then the government stole it. In many provinces there are formal treaties made but in B.C and on Ktunaxa territory there aren’t treaties, just land claims.           

Another misconception is that Reserves have a Self Governing office but the Indian Act, which is still in effect today, does not discuss self-government. Instead they set up Band councils and elected Chiefs. These band councils can make decisions that affect reserve schools, housing, roads, water, sewer, and services. However, the federal government can change decisions made by the council. 

A stereotype of Reserves are people living on “free land” with “free housing” but many times their living conditions are below poverty level. 

These are the current reserves in British Columbia. Some are still isolated and don’t have clean drinking water. 

Indigenous [Facts]:

Between 1953-1955 white people were painted to look like indigenous people and played them in movies.

Still, in 2022 Indigenous Rights are still violated

Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls 1,181 Indigenous women were killed or went missing across the country between 1980 and 2012       

Indigenous women represent 10% of the total population of missing women in Canada

There were 6,849 police-reported female homicide cases in Canada

The moose hide campaign is to help the missing and murdered Indigenous women by spreading a pin made of moose hide for people to wear to help support.  

Pow Wows: 

In the beginning of their history, the Ktunaxa and Yaqan Nukiy people sang, drummed, and danced ceremonially in celebration of everyday life. The Pow Wow was a celebration that began with the Grand Entry, a special song is sung by the Ktunaxa and/ or other tribal groups to bring in the tribal flag.

At the pow wow there is singing, drumming, dancing, and often a feast. The Grand Entry gives the master of ceremonies the opportunity to introduce all the leaders, flag bearers and guests from other tribes. 

There are many different dances in the Pow wow.            

Dances Include:

  • The Snake Dance
  • The Flag Song
  • The War Dance
  • The Round Dance
  • The Victory Dance
  • The Lost Article Dance
  • The Prairie Chicken Dance
  • The Fancy Dance
  • The Owl Dance
  • The Grass Dance

The Pow Wow is a special part of the Ktunaxa Culture where everyone gets together to sing, dance, drum, and eat and honor their culture and history.

Regalia is not a Costume:

Often people in movies and books who “dress up” as Indigenous are shown wearing eagle feathers. Eagle feathers are a great honor to receive, however are not worn every day. It is not portraying First Nations people in a positive way when books and movies show all First Nations people wearing regalia. Instead media should be showing the significance of regalia and eagle feathers and using platforms to teach the significance of these items. 

Pow Wows are ceremonies where people gather and play music, sing and dance.

The people put so much work into their beading and regalia to wear in ceremonies such as pow wows. 

The difference between a costume and regalia is a costume is worn when you are pretending to be something you are not, like at Halloween. Regalia is a powerful symbol of a dancer’s heritage and identity and is considered sacred.

For example dressing up as Spider Man is wearing a costume because you’re not actually Spider Man. All in all, regalia is not a costume because our traditional wear is part of them and defines who they are. 

So as you have read here Regalia is NOT a costume.


  • Bill Reid
  • Allen Sapp
  • Norval Morrisseau
  • David Ruben Piqtoukun
  • Alan Syliboy
  • Christ Belcourt

All about them:

Bill Reid: Brough Haida art to the world stage. His work can be found in various museums and art galleries throughout Canada. The Haida are well known for their artistic creativity. Art and decoration on their clothing, jewellry, tools, canoes, and structures. In 1967 the Vancouver art gallery organised [an] exhibition of his work called art of the raven. This exhibition was the first time [Aboriginal] carvings and paintings were treated like art and not artefacts. Reid was also a writer, storyteller, radio broadcaster, and a historian. 

Allen Sapp: he is a well known artist from Saskatchewan. The Cree originally lived across a large area which is now Canada. Aleen is a plains cree. They used porcupine quills, and moose hair, embroidery to decorate personal items. Sapp paints in a realistic style, he shows scenes from his childhood. 

Norval Morrisseau: he is an Ojibwa artist. He is known as the creator of Woodland Indian art. The Ojibwas expressed themselves through drawings on rocks. Norvel focussed on painting the insides of living beings. The insides were painted to represent the spiritual self. Galleries around the world feature Morrisseau’s x-ray art. Norvel was born in the early 1930s.

jayli wolf.jpg

Jayli Wolf:

Jayli Wolf was born and raised in Creston Canada, to a teen mother. She was raised in a trailer with her maternal family. She is half Danish and she was told she was half Mexican growing up but found out she was First Nation at the age of eight. Her father reached out and told her he had been taken in the sixties scoop. Her father covered up his ethnicity on his adoption papers. 

In 2021 she won the Venice short film awards, and the American Indian festival. In 2022 she was nominated for the Juno awards. 

Some of her most popular songs are…          

  • Lead me 
  • Hush
  • Would you die
  • Indian summer

Tom Jackson:

Tom Jackson is one of Canada's most respected and talented Aboriginal entertainers. He is a singer, songwriter, actor, and activist. 

Tom Jackson has appeared in many films and TV shows, but music is his first and greatest love. 

He has recorded many albums and has toured Canada numerous times.

Tom Jackson has also been nominated for Juno Awards. Tom Jackson has helped organize many charitable events, such as a food collection event called The Holiday Train and a benefit concert for [victims] of the 2011 fire in Slave Lake, Alberta. 

Tom Jackson has appeared on several TV shows including Star Trek, Law and Order, and Sesame Street. He is also a star of The Longhouse Tales, a children’s show based on traditional Aboriginal characters and mythology. 

Robbie Robertson:

Robbie Robertson is one of the most successful Canadian Aboriginal musicians in North America. 

Robbie Robertson has won several music awards, including Grammy Awards and Juno Awards. Other achievements include membership in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. 

Many of Robbie’s solo albums explore his Aboriginal and Mohawk roots.

“I remember from my earliest years,                                 … people speaking… in a certain kind of rhythm and telling stories and sharing experiences in a way that was different in Indian country than it was other places. And I was really struck by this and obviously very affected by it, because its always come out of my songs.”- Robbie

Susan Aglukark:

Susan Aglukark is an award winning inuk singer and songwriter with seven albums to her credit. Susan Aglukark is considered pop and folk, but her lyrics are special. Susan Aglukark uses her songs to tell tales of life in the Canadian North and among the Inuit. 

Susan’s lyrics tell the challenges Aboriginal people had to face. Susan has performed across Canada. Susan Aglukark has sung for Queen Elizabeth II and for presidents Jacques Chirac of France. In 1994 Susan Aglukark won the first National Aboriginal Achievement Award. 

In 2000 the album Big Feeling won a Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year. 

“ I have never considered myself a performer-singer. I’m a storyteller-singer more than anything.”

“My ultimate message is to learn to be yourself and believe in that.”



  • The Angry Inuk
  • The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
  • We Will Stand Up
  • Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
  • RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World
  • Smoke Signals


  • Huff & Stitch by Cliff Cardinal 
  • In Spirit by Tara Beagan
  • Medicine Shows: Indigenous Performance Culture by Yvette Nolan
  • Indian Act: Residential School Plays edited by Donna-Michelle St
  • Performing Indigeneity edited by Yvette Nolan and Ric Knowles
  • Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses
Chris Luke Sr..png

Thank you Chris Luke Sr!

This project was very hard for us. Chris Luke is an Elder from the Lower Kootenay Band. He was Chief of the Lower Kootenay Band for many years. Chris Luke is very nice and funny. He told us a lot of information for this project. He had great ideas for the project and designs. Chris Luke told us his storyline of his life. He has a name in Indigenous. His name is KaKaNutkin Ktawtas in the Ktunaxa language but it translates to= Black Bear in English. Chris Luke is very interesting to talk to and listen to. He has published books about him and his life.

media art future exhibit.jpeg

How we are changing the exhibit:

We wanted to show both the perspectives and sides of history in our exhibit. We added the traditional Indigenous items and stories to the colonized side of history. We decided to only add information rather than taking anything out. To do this we consulted with a Lower Kootenay Band Elder, Chris Luke. We believe it is important to first highlight the Ktunaxa culture as we are on Ktunaxa Territory. We then also wanted to feature famous Indigenous people who have impacted the arts. As you will [see] in this exhibit we have First Nations information scattered throughout so we can decolonize the exhibit.

Indigenous People and the Media