I recently decided to learn more my culture and sat down with many people, but so far the best sit downs happened on the set of "The Best Laid Plans." A classmate had told me about an opportunity for full Aboriginals to be extras in the CBC mini-series.
I did it for two reasons: I’m broke and that I would be in a room full of Natives that would be able to speak to me about their culture, win-win. When I arrived, it was fairly early. I had a call time of 8:15 a.m. When I arrived, there were only three of us. It was a fun thing to be a part of. I’ve never been on set of a TV show, let alone be in one.
I was told that I was going to be the driver of a pickup truck. It was a strange experience, being told how to drive a truck: very specific directions. I Watched them make the truck dirty with a spray. This went on for a couple hours. I drove the truck spot on and walked in a path that was mapped out for me. After another hour it, was time to go back until they needed me again.
When I got into the holding room it was full of other Aboriginals from around Ontario—Jackpot.
I sat down with others in the room and we talked about where they were from. Many came from Quebec and Ontario. Speaking with them I learned that they were from different tribes, Cree, Ojibway, Inuit and Métis.
They all wanted to have a conversation: I sat down with a woman and her family. They told me about how they were Cree and grew up traditional: They honoured the Creator and respected Mother Earth; much like my culture. The mother then told the son to hand drum and sing for me.
The boy sang a Cree song. It was amazing: the vibrations of the drum and his voice created one sound. The boy told me that this was his first drum; he and his grandfather had made the drum from scratch. It was made from deer hide and wood. Unfortunately cell phones and cameras were not allowed on set, so I couldn't take any recordings or photographs. But it was a phenomenal experience.
Madison Joe is currently a student in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. Madison Joe hails from Membertou, a Mi'kmaq First Nation in Nova Scotia. He can be found playing his Playstation or roaming the streets of Ottawa completely lost.
Here are some links for you ladies and gents: