About The Laughing Drum

Laughing Drum is a panel discussion between the host and a number of grassroots, indigenous people – who just happen to be comedians – which allows our audience to hear grassroots opinions sprinkled with the teasing and humour that are a fundamental part of indigenous culture and critique.

Michael Hutchinson – Host

Michael is a citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation. His journalism career began at the Calgary Straight which led to a reporter position for Aboriginal Times, a monthly supplement to the Globe and Mail. A year after his arrival, he was appointed managing editor. After a few years as writer/editor at the Indian Claims Commission in Ottawa, Michael was the Communication Coordinator for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba prior to joining APTN.

Candy Palmater – Panelist

Candy Palmater is the host of APTN’s The Candy Show which is an indulgence in Canada’s best talent. Candy is a member of the Eel River Bar First Nation and is a comedian story teller. Her show features blues, metal and old school country and everything in between, Candy is joined in her pink bedroom by the likes of Garrett Mason and In-Flight Safety. In addition to musicians, Candy has brought together slam poets, contortionists, drummer and dancers onto her show.

Jerry “The Big Bear” Barrett – Panelist

Jerry “The Big Bear” Barrett is a broadcaster and one of Canada’s favorite Aboriginal stand-up comedians and quite probably the only Aboriginal Elvis impersonator in Canada. In 2004 he made television history by performing North America’s first all Aboriginal stand-up comedy special; Welcome to Turtle Island. His comedy credits include performances at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood in 2004, where he showcased for the NBC network. His own television special Aboriginal Peoples Television Network called The Big Bear Comedy Show, and appearances on First Nations communities across Canada and the US as well as an appearance at The Winnipeg Comedy Festival that was shown across the country. When he’s not on tour with his comedy Gerry “The Big Bear” Barrett is the Morning Host on Manitoba’s Aboriginal Radio Network, NCI-FM.