RECLAIMING OUR HISTORY > HARNESSING OUR FUTURE
A documentary series about harnessing Indigenous knowledge and Indigenizing the future
Indigenous People are reaching back into their history and harnessing their ancestral Knowledge as a way to decolonize the current narrative and build a stronger, brighter future for their descendants.
It’s not about changing history; it’s about shifting the paradigm and building a better, more sustainable future for everyone.
In this series, we will tell the Indigenous side of the story, journeying into Indigenous communities to find those at the forefront of this reclamation movement and hear their stories.
Through the lens of our passionate, truth-seeking storytellers, Future History II will capture the imagination and incite debate and discussion around history as we know it and as we’ve never heard it before.
Directed by Jennifer Podemski, and written by Tamara Podemski, Future History is committed to exploring the diversity of perspectives and knowledge within the Indigenous community and sharing it with our viewers, in an effort to create a deeper understanding about our shared history while looking forward to a brighter future, one anchored in Indigenous Knowledge.
Jennifer Podemski ⏤ Director & Executive Producer
Jennifer Podemski is an award winning Film and Television Producer and Actor born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
Of mixed First Nations and Israeli descent, Jennifer began her acting career as a teen. Her career blossomed when she was cast as Pique in CBC’s The Diviners followed by a starring role in Bruce McDonald’s Dance Me Outside.
As her career in front of the camera exploded, Jennifer began to notice the inequity behind the lens. Although all of the roles she was awarded as actor were First Nations characters, she rarely, if ever, saw any First Nations writers, producers or directors
By 25, and a solid career under her belt, Jennifer opened her first production company, Big Soul Productions with fellow, burgeoning, producer Laura Milliken. BSP became the first Aboriginal owned and operated, full service production company in Canada, producing hundreds of hours of television including three seasons of the award winning Dramatic Series Moccasin Flats for Showcase and APTN.
In 2005, Jennifer branched out on her own and founded Redcloud Studios Inc.
Although Jennifer has maintained a successful career as an actor, with roles in Degrassi, Republic of Doyle, Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz and Jimmy P alongside Benicio Del Toro; She is most proud of her starring role in her own film Empire of Dirt for which she was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as well as Best Feature Film for her work as producer.
Empire of Dirt premiered at TIFF 2014 and continued to a theatrical release in Canada and is still travelling the world on the film festival circuit.
Jennifer is also the creator and producer of APTN’s famed paranormal series The Other Side, currently shooting it’s second season; in her 9th year as Co Executive Producer and Creative Director of the Indspire Awards (Global, APTN) for which she was nominated for Best Lifestyle Television Show at the 2014 CSA’s.
A storyteller behind and in front of the camera, Jennifer still makes time for training aboriginal youth in film and tv, mentoring and holding self esteem workshops across the US and Canada.
Geoff Ewart ⏤ Producer
Geoff is a producer with experience across multiple platforms including TV series, MOWs and feature films. Selected credits include Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr, winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Social/Political Documentary; Riviera, for Sky Atlantic, and Ransom, for CBS/Global Television. He is currently producing the documentary series Future History.
With Jennifer Podemski, Geoff produced the feature film Empire of Dirt, which had its World Premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was nominated for 5 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture, and won the award for Best Original Screenplay.
Geoff is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. He has several television and film projects in development.
Tamara Podemski ⏤ Writer
Tamara Podemski is an Anishinaabe + Ashkenazi multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts, where she studied dance, theatre and music throughout its 10-year program. For over 25 years, her work has spanned across all mediums with credits such as Dance Me Outside, The Rez, Ready or Not, Four Sheets to the Wind, The Lesser Blessed, the Broadway company of RENT, and is currently starring in the hit-CBC drama Coroner.
On the stage, screen and in the recording studio, Tamara has received critical acclaim, most notably with a Special Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival, an IFC Spirit Award Nomination, 2 Aboriginal Music Awards for her self-titled album, and 2 awards for her music video Meegwetch at the imagiNATIVE Film Festival and American Indian Film Festival.
Feeling that her voice may have a greater impact behind the camera, Tamara crossed over into the world of screenwriting. She recently finished writing the second season of the APTN documentary series Future History, which celebrates the reclamation and revitalization of Indigenous Knowledge; she is developing a half-hour TV comedy series with her sisters about diversity quotas on network television; and she received a Canada Council Scriptwriting Grant to complete her first screenplay.
Tamara returns to the recording studio this summer to work on her fourth album. She also hopes that, maybe this year, she will finally complete her degree in Indigenous Studies and Hebrew Literature at the University of Toronto.
Nyla Innuksuk ⏤ Director
Nyla Innuksuk is the founder of Mixtape VR which produces Virtual and Augmented Reality content. A writer for Marvel Comics, Innuksuk co-created the character of Snowguard, a teenage superhero from Pangnirtung, Nunavut and a member of Marvel’s Champions League. Working in mixed media allows Nyla to channel her passions for technology and genre storytelling among mediums that include interactive graphic novels, film, television and synthetic experiences. Originally from Igloolik, Nunavut, Innuksuk studied film at Ryerson University before working as a producer at the Aboriginally owned and operated Big Soul Productions. She then went on to found Pinnguaq VR before establishing her own company in Mixtape. In addition to her film and digital work, Nyla sits on the board of directors of Ontario Creates (formerly the OMDC) and the Glenn Gould Foundation. She was recently selected by Google to be included in their exclusive Google Jump program, is an ambassador for the Northern Indigenous Film Fund in Norway and was the 2018 imagineNATIVE artist in residence.
Samantha Katz ⏤ Associate Producer
Samantha Katz has been working in the television industry for over 10 years as a researcher, segment producer, production coordinator, script supervisor and talent coordinator. Samantha’s role on Future History marks her debut as an Associate Producer. In 2016, Samantha was recipient of the CMPA’s Screen-Based Media Production Mentorship, with Jennifer Podemski as her mentor. Over the years, Samantha has had the opportunity to work on So You Think You
Can Dance Canada, Food Factory USA, Come Dine With Me and the Indspire Awards.
Samantha hopes to continue to work on meaningful projects like Future History moving forward in her career, so fingers crossed for a third season of Future History!!!
Sarain Fox ⏤ Co-Host
Of Anishinaabe lineage, Sarain is a passionate spokesperson for her Indigneousl community north of Toronto and wears the beauty of her heritage with pride. Sarain explains that, “through film and acting my goal is to tell the stories that allow us to relearn our self’s as aboriginal people.” Through her pursuit of recognition as a name in the film industry, Sarain hopes to open new doors and opportunities for Aboriginal youths. Already well on her way, Sarain has worked on several major projects: she was cast as Sacheen Little Feather in “The Andy Warhol Interview Project” which debuted at the Vienna Film Festival in June 2007 and was involved in the ARG re-release of the CBS TV drama “Jericho”. Of course, she always has lots of new ideas on the drawing board and is currently refining several concepts for projects in the near future. Already in progress are various independent endeavors including the debut of her first play entitled “Ashes” which appeared at the Weesageechak Festival in Toronto and most recently; Sarain completed The New York Film Academy’s, acting for film program.
Just as comfortable behind the scenes as in front of the lens, Sarain is also a distinguished fashion model. She can be seen on the front cover of PIE, Redskin and Spirit magazines, and has also appeared in ImagoZine, Butterfly Unltd. from NYC and Grind magazine. Sarain has modeled in several Imago shows and also for designer Brandon R. Dwyer of Project Runway.
Sarain is strong and nimble not only as an intellect; she has also been studying, practicing and performing as a professional dancer for the past ten years. She has attended the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, the Quinte Ballet School and the Alvin Ailey Bachelor of Fine Arts Program in New York City. She has performed at The Canada Dance Festival 2008, The Barrie Jazz And Blues Festival VIII, the 2002, 2007 and 2012 Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and two summers with the Ajkun Ballet Theatre Company in New York City. She is a member of Kahawaii Dance theatre and has attended three indigenous dance residencies at The Banff Centre, witch allowed her to work with Neil Iremia of Black Grace and Javier Dezule of Dezule dance. Sarain is currently the newest member of Untitled Collective; a NYC based Australian aboriginal modern dance collective. On and off the dance floor, this stellar entity of artistic expulsion is truly always on her toes.
Kris Nahrgang ⏤ Co-Host
Kris is a multi-disciplinary artist working in wood, stone and traditional oil mediums. He is also an advocate for the rights of First Nations communities in Ontario and has liaised between Native and non-native groups with respect to archaeology since 2000. Kris Nahrgang is a Status, Mississauga Ojibway Treaty Indian – status held at Curve Lake. His home is located close to the site of the Peterborough Petroglyphs which date back over a thousand years and are recognized as the largest single concentration of rock carvings in Canada.
Kris’ art is a continuation of this spirit and tradition of rock and totem carving. His style has a balance of innovative, modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles, as well as MacLean’s Magazine.
An experienced diver, Mr. Nahrgang began an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Trent University, and has worked in a close relationship with underwater archaeologists at Parks Canada, mainly along the Trent Severn. Mr. Nahrgang has attempted to establish a cultural heritage/archaeological research and curatorial facility that will serve the needs of a large group of the smaller southern Ontario native communities. He served as a member of the advisory committee struck by the Ministry of Culture to contribute to the development of new Stage 1-4 archaeological assessment technical guidelines. As an Associate to the firm, he has worked closely with Archaeological Services Inc. on several projects, including the Aboriginal Consultation initiative for the North Pickering Development Plan. He is consulting widely with First Nations on matters relating to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Recently Kris was commissioned by the Canadian National Exhibition to produce a 36’ UNITY POLE (Totem). The Pole was unveiled at the CNE in August of 2017, receiving national and international acclaim from the public and the media. Kris’s work can be found in numerous private and corporate collection including Anne Murray, Bill Cosby, Justin Trudeau, Keech Rainwater (of Lonestar), Nik Antropov (Atlanta Thrashers), Brian Skinner (Phoenix Suns).
In 2018 APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) will air Season One of “Future History”, a documentary series that challenges the colonial narrative and celebrates the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge and identity, which Kris co-created and hosts with dancer, choreographer, actor and activist Sarain Fox.