Haida Gwaii’s Christopher Auchter featured in finale of new ‘Native Artist’ podcast

“Native Artist” podcast co-producer Andi Murphy is pictured with Haida artist Christopher Auchter in this submitted photo. Auchter is one of seven Indigenous artists or collaborations from the U.S. and Canada featured on the podcast, and his episode is expected to air on Monday, June 22, 2020. (Katja De Bock/National Film Board photo)
“Native Artist” podcast co-producer Andi Murphy is pictured with Haida artist Christopher Auchter in this submitted photo. Auchter is one of seven Indigenous artists or collaborations from the U.S. and Canada featured on the podcast, and his episode is expected to air on Monday, June 22, 2020. (Katja De Bock/National Film Board photo)
“Native Artist” podcast co-producer Andi Murphy is pictured with Haida artist Christopher Auchter in this submitted photo. Auchter is one of seven Indigenous artists or collaborations from the U.S. and Canada featured on the podcast, and his episode is expected to air on Monday, June 22, 2020. (Katja De Bock/National Film Board photo)

Haida artist Christopher Auchter will be featured in the finale episode of a new, international podcast that hopes to break down certain connotations of the words “native art.”

The “Native Artist” podcast premiered on May 18, diving into conversation with “the next generation of native artists” from across the U.S. and Canada who have disciplines ranging from directors and writers to carvers and fashion designers, and a story to tell about navigating these fields while reclaiming native identity.

Speaking by phone from his home in Burnaby, Auchter told the Observer his episode, which is expected to air on June 22, was produced by Andi Murphy. Murphy hails from Crownpoint, New Mexico, a small town on the Navajo Nation reservation, and in addition to co-producing the “Native Artist” podcast, she is an associate producer for the Native America Calling live call-in program.

ALSO READ: ‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

She flew up from the U.S. in March to spend a day with Auchter, meeting him at the National Film Board (NFB) office in Vancouver where he worked on his shorts “The Mountain of SGaana” and “Now Is the Time,” one of five Indigenous-made films screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

After recording Auchter doing some illustrations — capturing the sound of pencil on paper — they had a sit-down interview in the NFB theatre room and discussed what it was like growing up on Haida Gwaii.

Auchter said he reminisced about nature on the island, big storms and watching trees blow in the wind. He also talked about the very first moments he toyed with filmmaking.

“As a little kid, I started to play with my mom’s video camera and make little movies,” he said.

One time he and his brother Dean, along with a few friends, recreated the Trojan horse scene from “Troy,” using a toy horse with wheels, his father’s garage as the gates and “getting out the ketchup” for the combat reenactment that followed.

Another time he remembers learning an important lesson while making a film on the War of 1812 for a Grade 8 project.

While Auchter does not remember who was filming at the time, he said his friend, the late Jesse Jones, had a paintball gun.

“He was like six feet away and he started shooting me in the back, and it hurt so much that it looked so real,” Auchter remembers.

“We had this beautiful shot and I was trying to edit the film together that night, still very much learning, and I ended up recording over everything we had shot that day. That was some of the first heartache of trying to be a storyteller with film. Losing everything and all the pain and agony to get the shot.”

ALSO READ: Animating history: Auchter to remake documentary film 50 years after historic pole-raising

To cap off production for the podcast episode, Auchter and Murphy attended the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, which screened “Now Is the Time” on March 5, followed by a Q&A.

“COVID-19 was starting to be in the air, so it was a different feeling,” Auchter said, adding there were already rules in place at the festival, such as no hugging.

It was one of the last film festivals to take place before the lockdown, he added.

“That’s how close this was to not happening, so it’s kind of nostalgic that we were able to somewhat move around in a pre-COVID era,” he said. “I’m looking forward to hearing how she puts it all together.”

ALSO READ: Haida language stars in Edge of the Knife

In the meantime, he said he is working on “lots of Haida content,” including a short on the fabled Gaagiixid or “wild man” for a larger documentary that is in the works.

He is working on a graphic novel focused on “the noble one … the one who holds up Haida Gwaii and when he moves there’s an earthquake.”

He is also still working on the Haida version of “Now Is the Time,” with recording of both Haida dialects postponed due to COVID-19.

“It’s tough not being able to go to Haida Gwaii, but it’s important,” he said.

“It won’t be forever. This storm will pass.”

ALSO READ: Logging blockade participants reunite 33 years later

According to a release, the main host of the “Native Artist” podcast is Alexis Sallee, who also hosts the weekly radio program INDIGEFI, featuring modern Indigenous music and culture.

“For years we’ve been highlighting artists who are shaping the future of native music with our weekly radio show,” Sallee said in the release. “I’m excited to bring the focus to a new group of native artists whose media include painting, carving, film and even a denim fashion line. I want to expand what people think of when they hear the words ‘native art.’”

Other artists featured on the podcast include director, writer and photographer Tomas Karmelo Amaya, painter Tristan Morgan, carver Drew Michael, Erik and Amanda of denim fashion line Ginew, composer, musician and installation artist Laura Ortman, and photographer Kiliii Yuyan.

The podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and on nativeartistpodcast.com.

ALSO READ: Senior podcasters take on tech to stay connected with each other and the world

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

filmPodcast

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

Anger growing among B.C. salmon anglers shut out of public fishery

Fisheries minister stands by “very difficult” decisions to limit openings

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read