A Look Back at Season 1

A Look Back at Season 1

The first season of Dene A Journey took us on some very different trips throughout the north. We joined Mason Mantla and Joe Buffalo for some hunting and camping in the bush just a few hours north of Yellowknife, flew to Deline to tan a caribou hide with Leela Gilday, and embarked on a serious road trip with the Larsson sisters to attend the Midway Music Festival just south of Fort McPherson. Given the opportunity to spend time in the bush, and with Elders and other members of the communities, our characters experienced solitude and a simpler life. Wi-Fi wasn’t a distraction. Thoughts of work and bills faded as each of them found focus in learning the task at hand. Chopping firewood. Setting up a fishnet. Learning how to bead, and learning the language of their ancestors. The Dene A Journey crew’s job is to record all of these experiences, but in working behind the lens, our own personal journey also begins to unfold. We’re given a chance to learn from the Elders. Set up a canvas tent. Cook over a wood stove and sometimes even shoot a moose, or at least a chicken. As Amos put it, “there are…
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New season, website raise profile of Dene A Journey

Six new episodes of Northern-made TV series coming later this year by Meagan Wohlberg (Northern Journal) A new website boasting beautiful behind the scenes footage, elders’ stories, indigenous language and information on the people and places of the NWT might accomplish more than simply promoting the hit Northern TV show, Dene A Journey. It could make it part of a greater movement, says writer, director and producer Amos Scott. “Dene A Journey as a brand or movement is something that has the potential to become more than a TV show,” said Scott, who launched the show’s innovative new website last week in preparation for the premiere of the show’s second season this year on APTN. “Ultimately that’s the end goal, right? The TV show is fun to do and fun to watch, but the end goal is to have people take the initiative within their daily lives to reconnect to the land and see what kind of value that has for their personal lives.” Dene A Journey, which debuted on APTN in 2012, is a documentary series that tells the story of young, urban indigenous people on a trek to reconnect with their culture and, ultimately, themselves. As the first…

Mason Mantla

Mason Mantla

Mason Mantla, our very first subject in the Dene A Journey series, stopped by the office the other day to say hi. With the recent launch of our new website, we thought he’d be a great feature for our first blog post, so we asked Mason a few questions about how his experience on the show has settled in with him. DAJ - It’s been 4 years now since we filmed your episode. Has the Dene A Journey experience altered your view on things or had an effect on the path you’ve chosen in life since then? MM - It made me think twice about how I interact with Elders. Our Elders don’t want the youth’s lives to be as hard as theirs. They didn’t have an education to fall back on and they really encourage the youth to get an education. The Elders also taught me how far I can push myself if I put my mind to it. DAJ - What were your expectations going into filming with Dene A Journey? MM- I was hoping to get a better understanding of what it was like to work in the bush as a traditional person. You also have different…