Spending a summer travelling from coast to coast to coast meeting amazing people sounds like a dream vacation. Doing it while producing 14 videos isn’t vacation—but it’s incredibly rewarding work. That’s how our Ready2Listen video team spent the summer of 2022. Though many travelers experienced cancellations, delays and missing luggage, our expert producer Adrienne (and some very good luck) helped us steer clear of most travel headaches.
Just like a trip with friends or family, work travel depends on building good relationships. We put our team—Pascal, Adrienne and Nina—together based on Spruce’s values of accountability and collaboration, which allowed us to build respectful and supportive relationships with each other and the campaign participants.
Having a team with shared values was especially important for this project as we were visiting Indigenous women and Two-Spirit individuals in their communities and asking them to share their stories of strength and pride, on behalf of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak. Everyone was so open and honest with us and we are grateful that they welcomed us into their lives for two to three days to develop the campaign’s mini-documentary style videos.
The University of Winnipeg has the largest Two Spirit Archives, the Forks and Red River Walk offer great Indigenous context, and you can visit the place where Métis leader Louis Riel is buried.
You can also get the best ice cream at Chaeban’s—order the strawberry if it’s in season!
We enjoyed a two-ish hour road trip down to Carcross and back. Highlights included a great view of Emerald Lake, visiting the “desert”, wandering around Carcross and appreciating the Yukon’s mountain and valley landscape.
If you love road trips, head up to Sept-Îles! At the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence the beaches are beautiful and if you arrive at the right time, you are likely to see whales!
Atikuss Boutique, where we filmed with its owner, sells amazing products by Indigenous artisans.
Our epic road trip took us from Charlottetown to Carleton-sur-Mer then Sept-Îles, and back to Ottawa—the scenery was stunning.
Yellowknife boasts both delicious food—Bullock’s Bistro, Sundog Trading Post and The Woodyard Brewhouse & Eatery—and great hiking, in town and a few kilometres away at Cameron Falls.
5. Indigenous Peoples Day – Everywhere
June 21 is Indigenous Peoples Day, so check out a local community event wherever you are. On our trip, we were fortunate enough to get to film a dual event for Indigenous Peoples Day and Go Skateboarding Day hosted by Nations Skate Youth.
If you don’t have plans to go anywhere this summer but want to learn more about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in your region or across Turtle Island you can watch Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak’s Ready2Listen and She is Indigenous videos at any time and learn from the Indigenous teachings in the Ready2Stand toolkit.
Nina Jane Drystek is the Manager of Digital Communications at Spruce and she led video campaign teams for both Ready2Listen and She is Indigenous with LFMO. She loves listening, storytelling and strawberry ice cream.