First Contact participants reunite to speak about their 28 day journey - APTN NewsAPTN News

First Contact participants reunite to speak about their 28 day journey


In this special edition of InFocus all six participants of the series, First Contact, join host Melissa Ridgen to share their thoughts on the 28 day journey that took them to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Their experiences confronted and challenged their perceptions about Indigenous Peoples.

Most of the participants views changed as they learned more about the real people and their unique cultures but not everybody’s mind was changed.

First Contact is produced by Animik See Digital Productions, Nüman Films and Indios Productions for APTN.

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19 Responses to “First Contact participants reunite to speak about their 28 day journey”

    Barb September 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm #

    Melissa R does a very poor job of facilitating conversation. The focus seems to be on getting participants to continue their argument rather than on what each of them
    learned. The whole series seemed slanted in that direction. I was disappointed by the lack of respect demonstrated.

    Laurie E Watt September 19, 2018 at 6:03 am #

    Thank you APTN for an amazing series, and I’m hoping for many more episodes/series to come. This is exactly what’s required to facilitate Canadians’ education in the area of aboriginal relations – it is reconciliation in action! It’s also a wonderful Canadian travelogue.

    I strongly agree with other comments that the host of the followup show needs to be unbiased, since that became a negative distraction during that program.

    JL September 18, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    This was a very informative series that I think all Canadians should see. This should also be shown in schools. I myself am of Aboriginal decent and know very little about my culture or background as my mother was part of the 60s scoop and was adopted into a white family. Watching this series has made me want to learn more about my culture and also the history of Canada and how it has affected Indigenous people.

    Cheryl September 18, 2018 at 2:41 am #

    Great documentary .Thank you to the participants for shedding light and clarification on many issues we’ve never clearly understood. For Those of you who want to continue to make a difference and educate others, keep on talking.. To each other, to your friends and importantly to our government.. It only takes a few strong people to get a movement started

    Douglas Brenner September 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm #

    I am a metis male, an Oskapewis for ceremony, and an FNMI teacher. This program IS the most honest useful tool I have come across and in fact has changed me and my values around my own culture. I will refer to this program when I conduct Indigenous//Aboriginal training later this month.
    The host of the last show needs to redo her schooling and education. You cannot force feed people your values through harassment or any other form of communication. We can only share our beliefs and values and then act in kind. Attraction over promotion is the correct way of attracting people to support our purpose. Truly unbelievable to see so much wrong corrected and then tossed out like a bag of garbage.

    Carly September 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm #

    White people can be given the pass as “oh their stuck in their views because their the older generation” yet the older native generation has to suck it up and move forward.
    What we saw from most of the participants at the end seemed to change their views but I feel that during the time gap from the end of the show to the reunion their views went back again. Probably time spent back with friends and family made them sway again, so that was disappointing.
    Next series they should take them to the depths of the poverty stricken homes on the rez for a night, see what it’s like to boil water all day and night in order to drink and bath. Take people to where native run and work businesses, a day at the band office! I got asked from a white lady one day why so many people from the rez die….funny because you look in the daily newspaper at how many people from town die every day, more then the rez. DUH because we come together as a community during wakes and funerals, white people don’t. so that’s why it looks like more people die on the rez then town. people die in town and the next door neighbor wouldn’t even know.

    Noella Tetrault September 17, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    Being humble gives us strength because we are not preoccupied with our own self

    Roxanne Roy-Desjardins September 17, 2018 at 4:30 am #

    I totally enjoyed this series and the change of perspective that happened with the participants. Even the ones who claim they did not feel their opinions changed seemed to soften up as time went on. In my opinion, this would be a great experience for others to have in future and would like to see “First Contact” as an annual series featuring different people in different indigenous settings and used as an awareness tool in schools. However, the in focus interview was uncomfortable to watch. The interviewer did not refrain from her own point of views and remain neutral, thus, her interruptions and personal opinions were unprofessional. While I do not agree with the individuals who refuse to look beyond their own preconceived beliefs, it is their beliefs and perception and they should have been allowed to be open and honest without confrontation and being treated like they were on a witness stand.

    Rae September 17, 2018 at 4:19 am #

    Great program. Not a great host. Find a reporter/host who’s not so angry to run a program about steps towards reconciliation.

      Douglas Brenner September 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm #

      Find a reporter/host who’s not so angry to run a program about steps towards reconciliation. This person pushed the older guys further away fr reconciliation because she was telling them they were wrong and she was right. This is the same attitude that created this terrible scenario. It takes time for people to accept the truth when it is not parallel to their own. The host disgusts me and has stained our efforts.

    heather bourque September 17, 2018 at 12:29 am #

    How nice to see most of the participants up there sharing their experience. It is not easy to be open and vulnerable and then to admit that we were naive or uneducated on an issue. Kudos to those of you who fit that bill. On the other hand, it didn’t take long to see that Don is completely unteachable. I can’t believe he passed the screening, nor can I fathom why in the world he even wanted to do this, unless it was to have his say and share his own ignorant views with the people he met and the rest of us. Too bad he wasted his own, and everybody else time.

      roxanne September 18, 2018 at 4:54 am #

      I believe Don has unresolved trauma in his own life and that is blinding his perspective and hardening his resolve not to be empathetic and understanding.

    Marjaleena Repo September 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    Atrociously poor hosting by Melissa Ridgen! She put the two older male participants on trial and she was the judge, jury and executioner, without the slightest professionalism which would have meant drawing these men out and not shutting them up with the strong suggestion that they were “racist.” I think this debriefing session could be used as an example for aspiring journalists on how NOT to treat people!

    klanmother :karen :lucyk macdonald September 16, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    miracles happen. in peace , megwich to all involved. as i am the 13th international white bear secwepemc (t’kamloops) star nations klanmother, which again is one of the biggest secrets of all, that the head matriarch are still today for international courts the only ones allowed and with the authority to make proclamations or treatys. even the dakote tribes and first nations had 13 tribe mothers. this is well taught by meredith quinn eagle teachings & fully endorsed by the acting head global tribal force chief twin spirited shaman, pattie l brassard, mi’k mac. this is the next step to educate on and that we will not re-con-cile or have any treatys with the a-lien draconian or hostile governments in violation of 6 star et treatys since before 3012 BC and our last one finished 2013 from 408 AD. for their adrenocrome and loosh harvesting & human killing & trafficking, blood sacrifice of the crimes against humanity. i have stayed & done medicine natural to reestablish the medicine wheel to many “hereditary original blood RH + ” tribes/klans and nations and the reserves are classified as “inhabitants” for violations as well as making unlawful contracts with un authorized agents and are now null and void. a thank you, lim lich for the beginnings of truth, peace and your understanding. your grace, :karen :lucyk macdonald (see project incension, tribal laws meredith quinn youtubes)

    Melinda September 16, 2018 at 6:21 am #

    This was the most educational documentary Ive seen so far. There is no way a sane person could have left that 28 day “adventure “ without a some if not a total change in their previous perspective. Thankfully I grew up knowing many indigenous people and have always had a high regard for them. I hope this documentary helps to make changes in the indigenous peoples lives..

    G Walsh September 16, 2018 at 5:43 am #

    I am SO glad that I saw a post on FB about ‘First Contact’. After seeing that I immediately set up the PVR to record it. What a great program!!! We definitely need more like it. As a caucasian Canadian I learned about such things as the Residential Schools over a period of time. I kind of understood intellectually but not emotionally. It wasn’t until the Truth & Reconcilliation talks that I began to really feel the impact emotionally. As stupid as it might sound it was only then that I suddenly understood why so many idigenous people, youth and older people had addictions etc. As a caucasian Canadian I still feel pretty shy and scared to connect with indigenous people who live in our area. I have some ideas and want to help but dont have a lot of confidence in how to approach their community. Thank you so much to all those who took part in First Contact. I think it was a very valuable film to watch. I certainly learned some things that I had not known before. All Canadians need the lines of communication opened up and ideas shared.

    William September 16, 2018 at 4:44 am #

    It was a good show to watch. What i found interesting was how the two older guys were set in thier ways. It didnt matter to them what they were shown or heard. Thier mind set was made up long time ago in how they see aboriginals. They have shown they dont care about aboriginals. All they see or know is that Indians are nothing but alcoholics or drug addicts. Its a shame that is all they see, they didn’t care about our culture and how wonderful it is or can be. Don i think his name is. Hes stuck in the past about himself. You could see how he is and how he will always be that way. The others have had xgange how they see aboriginals and it is good. I wish each and everyone of them the best in life and that peace be with them. Take care…

    Robin September 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm #

    I think this whole series should be a national showing. I loved how APTN put this together. More Canadians should be shown this. Being First Nation and a survivor of the residential school people need to see this,but I think there’s slot more to do with the residential schools but the child care services folks need to know the effects is that to it also played a major part of who we became. Thank you for this amazing series. Well done.

    J September 15, 2018 at 3:47 am #

    I’m disappointed in the host. She couldn’t properly facilitate the conversation. For example: around the discussion of the fact socially acceptable beatings (strap, yard stick on the hand) was given to kids in schools Even better if: Acknowledge this fact; stop the other participant from blowing his comment / opinion out of proportion.

    She could not be unbiased and respect that everyone had their opinion even if it didn’t align with what she believed. It doesn’t feel like there is freedom of opinion anymore because if one’s opinion doesn’t match the socially acceptable opinion, the person is automatically bashed and people try to make them conform.

    “There is nothing worse than a biased facilitator who drives the discussion to a preplanned (and obvious to all) conclusion.”

    When the topic of the pow wow came up and the chief (?) was bashing the white man; the host ignored that comment and moved on. Even better if: The host acknowledges that Yes, in order to stop the hatred of white man, those messages / stories of hate need to stop or it will continue down through the generations. As one of the participants stated more than once, both sides need to change.