Blackfoot Skies: Makoisokoyi.
A TELUS SPARK SCIENCE CENTRE PRODUCTION

Blackfoot Skies: MAKOIYOHSOKOYI

A film by: Tito Gomez

Join TELUS Spark Science Centre in celebrating the soon-to-launch film, Blackfoot Skies Makoiyohsokoyi

A note from the director:

Pamela Beebe from Kainai and Kori Czuy of Cree-Metis ancestry and I, have adapted and produced one of the stories of the Wolf Trail. We have worked with Elders in Treaty 7 throughout production and are excited to share this story.

This short film is an adaptation of an original Siksikaitsitapi story gifted to the science centre in the early 1990’s by the late Dan Weasel Moccasin. It is an adaptation of a Blackfoot story about the Wolf Trail, or Milky Way in the English language. It tells of a time, many moons ago when humans were starving, and it was the wolf ancestors that guided humans back to a life within the circle, to live in reciprocity with the Land and animals. The stories originated in the Blackfoot language and were told for hundreds of years by the Niitsitapi. Dan Weasel Moccasin alongside Elders and Knowledge Keepers from the Blackfoot community helped create a planetarium film that was shown in 1992. Makoiyohsokoyi: the Wolf Trail, was inspired from those gifted stories. Through the Elders Advisory Circle at Spark, the idea was introduced to create a short film of one of the stories, to be shared in teaching settings throughout Treaty 7 in a portable dome theatre.

I have been honoured to lead the team working on this amazing project throughout 2021-2022.

A special thanks to these Elders and Knowledge Keepers for their support on this project: Floyd Big Head (Kainai), Diana Melting Tallow (Siksika), Casey Eagle Speaker (Kainai) and Rob Cardinal (Siksika).

Stay tuned for more information, updates and showtimes.

Tito Gomez, Chippewa-Cree-Tohono O'odham

Aho

Cast & Crew

Tito Gomez

Writer & Director

Tito Gomez is from the Chippewa-Cree (Rocky Boy, MT) and Tohono O’odham (Sellz, AZ) nations. He has worked in broadcast news for over 9 years. He wrote and co-directed his first short film called The Healing. The Healing was shown in film festivals all over Canada and US. Tito was selected to be a part of Telus Indigenous Storyhive with his short film called Love Of Two: Episode 1. Since then he teamed up with Wakefield Brewster on a spoken word video and Confederation Park 55+ to develop videos about issues facing the senior community. Tito also developed a weekly show called Songs For The Nation: Virtual Round Dance with Fawn Wood & Dallas Waskahat for Telus. It was shown in over 50 cities across Canada.

Tito is honor to be a part of this project. He wants to thank Telus Spark Science Centre and the Elder of Treaty 7 for trusting him to bring this story to life.

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Andy Alook

Actor

Andy Alook is a 34 year old Executive from the Bigstone Cree Nation. BCN surrounds the community of Wabasca, Alberta. Andy was born and raised in Wabasca, only leaving to pursue his educational goals. Andy has enjoyed his time working within the community and takes every opportunity he can to help make a difference in the lives of his fellow community members.

His education background includes: Computer Technician Certificate, Business Administration Management Diploma, and various volunteer commitments. Most recently Andy has achieved his First Nations Health Management Certification and nationally recognized designation as a CFNHM. Andy is also currently enrolled in his last year in ‘Health Administration’ at the Athabasca University while working and managing his daily life.

Andy’s 10 years of work for the Bigstone Cree Nation includes experience as a Website Development & Communications Liaison, Finance Clerk and Project Coordinator. Prior to his work in Community & Public Health, Andy had worked as a Network Administrator for the Bigstone Education Authority.

All this experience has led him to a new position in the city of Edmonton employed with the Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre where he continues his work as a Health Surveillance Analyst Intern within the Government of Alberta - Ministry of Health.

“I look forward to continuing my work with Alberta Health, AFNIGC, our community partners and creating new relationships. I couldn’t be more happy working with organizations that have so much to learn from while also being able to share my knowledge and experience with those I meet along the way.”

Andy has future goals of attaining further education and experience in Health Surveillance, in working toward the improvement of Health Status in First Nation communities. His interests in data collection and knowledge of First Nations communities gives him a better understanding of current First Nations health issues and how they compare to the rest of Canada. Improved quality of life, strategic organizational operations, and community education; these goals are the fuel to Andy’s passion and they coincide with his vision for safe, healthy communities for the future generations which happen to include his five year old daughter.

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Brinley Backfat

Actor

Brinley Backfat daughter of Michael Parker-Bullshields and Carrie-Ann Backfat is from the Siksika Nation of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy). Brinley attends Grade 1 at the Chief Old Sun Elementary School and at six years old this is Brinley’s first opportunity to work on a film production. She is very excited to work with the Blackfoot Skies crew to help showcase her Blackfoot Heritage. Brinley enjoys dancing, singing and playing hockey.

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Sofia Eaglehead Baptiste

Actor

Sofia Eaglehead Baptiste is Blackfoot, Cree and Tsuut’ina (Dene). She calls both Mohkinstsis (Calgary) and Pigeon Lake home. She is a part of Ermineskin Cree Nation where her father is from. Her mom is Blackfoot from both Siksika and Tsuut’ina.

Along with modeling, Sofia is a university student majoring in Anthropology with a double minor in Sociology and Indigenous studies. Sofia’s focus and goals are decolonial processes, healing and to work towards and with the Indigenous community. Part of her own healing journey from intergenerational impacts of residential schools is learning to Powwow dance. Sofia currently dances Old Style Jingle and hopes to continue to carry on the traditions of Powwow dancing.

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Craig Montgomery

Actor

Craig Roland Montgomery was born in 1979, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Coming from a family of 9 siblings, Craig was adopted in the 1980's with two of his brothers, and one of his sisters. He is a proud sixties scoop survivor, and is currently living on Blackfoot territory of the Siksika Nation, apart of the Blackfoot Confederacy of Southern Alberta.

He met his Blackfoot Annodakii, 11 years ago, with whom he shares and cherishes an 8 year old son. Throughout his life, Craig's native heritage and origins have always been foreign to him, but after such a long absence of native ways in his life, he feels blessed to have been reintroduced to his culture. The creator is highly acknowledged in Craigs' life and he is grateful for all He has done, and thankful to all he's crossed paths with.

It’s with great excitement he has been given the opportunity to be part of this short film project. The story is powerful in its own spiritual way, and has enhanced acknowledgement even more for the people and the stories of long ago. Craig would like to thank all that are involved in this project including all the Elders, the writer, producers, directors, cast, film crew, wardrobe specialist and all sponsors for putting this together and allowing him to be part of sharing this story.

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Pamela Beebe

Producer

Pamela Beebe is from Kainai Nation and currently lives in Mohkinstsis. Her parents are Elizabeth Big Head and the late, Wayne Beebe. Her grandparents are the late Howard & Mabel Beebe, George Scout & Rose Yellowfeet, all of whom were from Kainai Nation. Pamela has been happily married for more than 19 years after meeting her spouse at the Casa des Fruita pow-wow, while studying in California. She is the mom to Brodie, 18, and Leeann, 15. Brodie currently attends Mount Royal University while Leeann is at Queen Elizabeth High School. Pamela has a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Biology & Anatomy from McGill University as well as a Doctor of Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West. She was a licensed chiropractor in Alberta in 2001 & 2002. Pamela currently works as a System Planner for housing & homelessness as well as a Producer of short films. She has previous experience as a Board member for the Calgary Women's Centre(2017 to 2019) and Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority(2017 to 2020). She is also a member of the Indigenous Climate Action sub-committee, where she represents the Grasslands Biome.

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Kori Czuy

Producer

Kori Czuy, ᒥᐦᑯᐱᐦᐁᓯᐤ, is Cree/Métis Polish, and was born in Treaty 8 by the banks of the Peace River. She is the Indigenous Engagement Specialist at the Spark Science Centre, focusing on bringing together multiple ways of knowing science. Kori is on an ongoing journey to reconnect with and learn from the knowings of the land, as well as helping others connect with the complexities of these knowings alongside Western science.

Her PhD is in storying mathematics; through her research she worked with children and Treaty 7 Elders to explore the depth of mathematics within Indigenous stories.

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Emil Starlight

Director of Photography

Danit’ada (Hello), my name is Emil Starlight, I am Dene from the Tsuut'ina Nation. I am a filmmaker, photographer, graphic designer, audio producer, and content creator which is all housed under my company Limelight Multimedia.

I’m excited to work on this project because it’s something new and has never been done before in this way. Technology meets history you get Blackfoot Skies!!

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Discovery Wildlife Park

Discovery Wildlife Park provides a forever home for wildlife in need. Our main focus on training is for the medical benefit it has for the animals. We are also very passionate about collaborating on research that can not only better the lives of the animals we take care of but that can also greatly benefit the animals in the wild. We are excited to take part in the filming of Blackfoot Skies because one of the largest focuses of this film is about education which is something that fits our philosophy. The park is home to a large variety of species from around the world and the team at the park is highly dedicated to educating the public about these amazing species and the conservation of all animals.

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Kiera VanDerPloeg

Crew

I got my inspiration to become part of the film and theater community when I watched the live musical Shrek on my seventh birthday, and was inspired further after watching Hamilton in 2020. Ever since deciding that I want to further a career in productions I have been looking for an opportunity to learn more about productions and what goes on behind the scenes. Being apart of the production of Blackfoot Skies: Maikoiyo-Sokoyi is a one of a kind opportunity and I am over the moon to be apart of the production of it.

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Koah Ens-Buchacher

Crew

My name is Koah Ens-Buchacher and I am of mixed ancestry. I am a non-status Nehiyaw (Cree) with roots in Waterhen Lake First Nation and Canoe Lake Cree Nation on my mother’s side and I am German on my father’s side. I am 15 year old in Grade 10 at Chestermere High School, and I am interested in filmmaking. I am writing this essay as my application to work on the filming of Blackfoot Skies.

I want to work on a movie set because I think it will give me a unique experience. I like the fact that the film is in collaboration with the TELUS Science Centre because science is my favourite subject in school and because I enjoy attending exhibits and activities at the Science Centre.

My favourite animated movie is Finding Nemo. I like it because it is a Pixar movie and I enjoy the cinematography. My favourite action movies are any Marvel movies, but I especially like the Avengers movies. I like the storylines in the movies and the continuation that happens. I also like the ability of the films to jump back and forth through time.

I’m proud to have lived in Treaty 7 territory for most of my life. The opportunity to support storytelling about the location that I have called my home for the past 8 years would be a terrific experience.

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Nikko Hunt

Crew

Hi my name is Nikko Hunt, I am a Blackfoot grade twelve student. I am passionate about things such as dance, drama, and singing. Through some of my performances in these areas, I've begun to comprehend the power of art, and how media can really touch people. I am extremely excited to be a part of the film. This film has not only given me the opportunity to become familiar with the technical side of filmmaking, but it also showcases a Blackfoot story. I feel I haven't really seen a lot of indeginous media in my life, and it truly makes me happy to see it become more prevalent. I am grateful to get the opportunity to be a part of Blackfoot Skies.

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