Six Canadians confront their own prejudices against First Nations in new APTN TV series

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      What comes to mind when you hear the words Indigenous, Aboriginal, or First Nations?

      A group of outspoken Canadians will face the deep-set preconceptions, stereotypes, and associations that they have about Indigenous people and cultures in Canada in a new TV series by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

      First Contact, which premieres at 7 p.m. (PT) on September 11 will follow the experiences of six non-Indigenous Canadians as they visit Indigenous communities across Canada over a period of 28 days.

      The six chosen participants are all outspoken in their predjudices against Indigenous people. While many have never visited a reservation, they will visit Indigenous communities from coastal B.C. to northern Ontario and Nunavut.

      First Contact Canada

      The series, narrated by George Stroumboulopoulos, runs from September 11 to 13, consisting of three episodes plus a two-part reunion special.

      Among the participants is a British Columbian: Avonlea Collins from Chilliwack.

      Formerly working in event management, 28-year-old Collins is currently a stay-at-home mother with two boys. Before participating in the series, she had little familiarity with Indigenous culture but is open to learning. She also believes in the importance of her children learning about other cultures, which is something she felt she didn't have the chance to do.

      Other participants include 26-year-old Dallas Cormier, a lobster fisherman and welder from Saint John, New Brunswick; 32-year-old Ashley Mathieu, a gay personal trainer from Ontario; and 65-year-old Donald Wright, a retired truck driver from Ardrossan, Alberta, who isn't pleased with the government's stance on diversity.

      The reunion special will feature the six participants reflecting upon their experiences in front of a live Winnipeg audience, along with Bear Clan Patrol cofounder James Favel, Shamattawa Cree Nation's Michael Redhead Champagne, and Manitoba MLA Bernadette Smith.  

      The series will become available online at the APTN website starting on September 17. More information about the show is available at the First Contact Canada website.