Home Arts & Culture ‘Time to Eat’ wins national award

‘Time to Eat’ wins national award

Kahnawa’kehró:non Ka’nhehsí:io Deer (left) with her mother Hope Stacey (centre) and sister Brooke Wahsontiiostha Deer (right) made cornbread for CBC Indigenous’ documentary Time to Eat. Courtesy CBC Indigenous

For CBC Indigenous reporters Ka’nhehsí:io Deer and Candace Maracle, winning a Canadian Screen Award for their documentary work on Time to Eat  was the cherry on top of what was already a fulfilling and deeply personal project.

“I feel so honoured. I really love sharing stories from Kahnawake, and I’m just so thankful for everyone that is willing to do an interview with me and willing to go on camera,” said Deer, who learned from her mother, Hope Stacey, how to make cornbread for the documentary. She also featured other Kahnawa’kehró:non in the piece, including Treena Delisle, Stephen McComber, Randy Cross, and Brittany Zachary-Standup.

“Every time a community member is willing to trust me and share part of their story, I’m just so grateful,” Deer said.

The documentary came about after the CBC Indigenous team realized there was one topic in particular that staff loved to discuss: food.

“We always have great conversations about food, so I thought, ‘Why don’t we do something about food? Let’s share the things that make our communities, our families, our homes unique,’” said executive producer Meagan Fiddler, who is Oji-Cree from Kistiganwacheeng.

The name of the documentary came from the welcoming call of family growing up heard by Deer, Candace, and fellow CBC Indigenous reporters Brett Forester and Jacqueline McKay, who each visited one community to share a delicious traditional recipe. 

Alongside the kana’tarokhón:we (cornbread) that Deer made in Kahnawake, Maracle went home to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory to spear and skarkahráksen (pickerel) with her father. 

Forester, who is a member of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, went to Six Nations of the Grand River to learn the history of the bread and cheese festival, and McKay was taught how to can salmon by Deb Crow who is from the Syilx Nation.

Maracle – who also edited part of the documentary – said that sharing the process of her father, Don C. Maracle, teaching her about food was special to share on-screen.

“We’ve cooked together, and he used to make that stuff for us when we were little, so it was a really good experience, and now I look back on it, it’s a really good homage to our relationship with all of its father-daughter imperfections,” she said. “There’s that loveliness where we sit down and we share food, and I think it’s a great memory.”

The win, which was in the lifestyle category and was announced at last week’s Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto, was meaningful for the team, who said they were delighted that positive stories coming out of Indigenous communities were being recognized.

“I want Canadians to have a true understanding of our communities from coast to coast. These are the things we’re doing, it’s not just trauma and awful things,” Fiddler said. “It’s a commitment to the full story, to being in communities and sharing community voices.”
Deer, who was formerly a reporter at The Eastern Door, said she was honoured that a project that means so much to her was recognized with the national award.

“I knew I really wanted to do that story,” she said. 

“It really helped me find a newfound appreciation for cornbread and be able to learn from my mom.”

Time to Eat  can be streamed for free via CBC’s website.

evedcable@gmail.com

This article was originally published in print on June 7, in issue 33.23 of The Eastern Door.

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Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.

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Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.