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Indigenous Advisory Council

Founded in 2023, the Indigenous Advisory Council offers guidance to VIFF regarding our actions and activities that impact Indigenous peoples. VIFF is honoured to work with these knowledge-keepers.

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Council Members

Jessie Anthony headshot

Jessie Anthony

Writer/Director/Producer Jessie Anthony is a proud Haudenosaunee woman from the Onondaga Nation and a member of Beaver Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario. Storytelling is my lifeline: it’s how I connect to my traditional roots, and it is the lens with which I view my modern life. Through film, I speak to the reality of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. By honouring our strengths, weaknesses, unity, and identity, I represent our stories with authenticity. I wish to serve my people as a filmmaker; to create art and tell stories both within and outside of Indigenous culture. I am a grad of Vancouver Film School’s Acting for Television & Film Program and in my final year of Capilano University – Indigenous Independent Filmmaking Program with a focus on directing, cinematography & scriptwriting.

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Rhiannon Bennett headshot

Rhiannon Bennett

Rhiannon Bennett is a Musqueam activist and matriarch; she is well-known for posing tough questions and fostering engaging, meaningful dialogue. With a heart rooted in joy, love, and whimsy, she is actively working to cultivate a more equitable world for all by championing Decolonization in everything she does, both personally and professionally. In 2014, she made history as the first Indigenous person elected to the Delta Board of Education. She is currently the Vice-Chair of KPU. In 2018, she co-founded Hummingbirds Rising Consulting, a Decolonization consulting firm.

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Marion Jacobs headshot

Marion Jacobs

Marion Jacobs is an Actress, Director, Writer and Teaching Artist who is proud of her Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Snuneymuwx (Nanaimo) and Bahamian ancestry. She was born and raised in the village of Xwemelch’stn (Capilano Indian Reserve) located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Marion attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in L.A. where she received a BFA with honors in Performing Arts Acting. She is an experienced performer who enjoys sharing her knowledge with youth and helping them build community with one another.

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Allan Lindley headshot

Allan Lindley

Allan Lindley (they/them) is a performer, music player, speaker/facilitator, language reclaimer and language teacher. They are from the Syilx, Nlaka’pamux and Cree Nations. They hail from the Nicola Valley in the Interior, and they have been living on the sovereign lands of the MST since 2007.

Story telling and story collecting has been with them since they were a child. They spent many years in conversation with their grandmother, Lottie Lindley, who co-authored the book Okanagan Grouse Woman. She is whose wisdoms they carry in all of their work.

Working with Indigiqueer/trans/twospirit youth is what feeds their spirit. Creating space for their kin in the stories they hold and the stories they tell is what guides Allan.

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Melanie Malloy headshot

Melanie Molloy

Melanie Molloy is Lanradormiu (Labrador) and Irish (Newfoundland), and has been an uninvited guest on the lands now known as B.C. for over twenty years.

As a representative of a collective of Inuit living in B.C., Melanie takes part in the VIFF Indigenous Advisory Committee to contribute to a community where urban Indigenous people can connect to each other and their cultures through visual storytelling.

Melanie supports VIFF because of the vital role it plays in providing decolonized spaces for Indigenous writers, producers, filmmakers, actors and audiences to see, and be, themselves in a safe and supportive community.

Melanie is proud to sit alongside other IAC members to contribute to an organization that centers local First Nations in its decision making.

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Jada-Gabrielle Pape headshot

Jada-Gabrielle Pape

Jada-Gabrielle Pape, wu’WusUlwat, Saanich and Snuneymuxw Nations

Jada is a facilitator, film maker, grief and trauma counsellor and mixed media painter. Jada is also a language learner, weaver and canoe puller.

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Jeremy Ratt headshot

Jeremy Ratt

Jeremy Ratt is a multimedia content creator who self identifies as half Indigenous (Woods-Cree heritage) and half white; he is the host of CBC British Columbia’s original podcast PIECES. The podcast explores what it means to be Indigenous and shares personal stories from Ratt’s past that have shaped his present identity.

Ratt has always had a passion for broadcasting and all forms of audio entertainment, including podcasting. He began his career in broadcasting at seventeen, when he was hired as a board operator for one of Kelowna’s talk radio stations. Since then, he has also written and acted in various short films and his work was recently included in a published anthology of Indigenous stories.

When not in the recording studio, Ratt is a musician and writer. He is part of an Indigenous writers group in B.C. and can be found playing his guitar, composing music, as well as working on his nonfiction and fiction pieces.

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Colin Van Loon (Lyttle) headshot

Colin Van Loon (Lyttle)

Filmmaker Ahnahktsipiitaa is Blackfoot and Dutch, originally hailing from The Piikani Nation. During his upbringing he resided alongside his mother in Lethbridge and many other dusty Southern Alberta towns. Currently, Ahnahktsipiitaa is the Operations Manager for the Indigenous Matriarchs 4 AR/VR media lab (IM4-Lab). Ahnahktsipiitaa sits on Telefilm Indigenous Working Group, among others. Community centred, he aims to elevate the voices and stories of Indigenous peoples, whether creating spaces for youth works in the Talking Stick’s Festivals REEL Reservation: Indigenous Cinematic Indigenous Sovereignty Series or through his company Blackfoot Nation Films.

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