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"Little Bird" series: Tale of self-discovery, Indigenous resilience, and the sixties scoop"

Photo by: PBS/Crave Streaming, little bird promotional material
Photo by: PBS/Crave Streaming, little bird promotional material

A new series is making waves in Canada with themes of discovering one’s identity, the sixties scoop, and Indigenous narrative sovereignty. The series is called “Little Bird” and is streaming on Crave, a streaming platform, and has become one of its first drama series.

What makes this series stand out the most, beyond the material, are the writers and producers behind the series.

Jennifer Podemski is an Anishinaabe (First Nation) and Ashkenazi (Jewish) woman and worked on the show for several years. She is a producer, actress, and director and began her work on Little Bird as early as 2015. She has been telling stories from an Indigenous perspective throughout her career.

“It makes, I think, all the difference because the complexity that comes from authentic storytelling is so much more rich and layered and nuanced than what you get when other people tell our stories.”

The series focuses on an Indigenous woman who is taken in something called “the sixties scoop, " a period in the 1950s to 1980s where young Indigenous children were stolen and adopted out to non-Indigenous families as a way to assimilate them.

“Hundreds of thousands of children were moved during the time," Podemski said. "And although it does not represent every person’s story, we've done our best to create a story that does reflect the most collective experience possible.”

Podemski says that talking about these issues can highlight overlooked parts of history.

“We have a lot of history to retell," she said. "In order to catch up with our modern scenarios. And start to imagine ourselves into the future.”

Podemski is hopeful about the impact that stories like Little Bird will have on our future and reshaping traditionally exclusionary media like television to include Indigenous stories by Indigenous people.

Hannah Bissett is a Dena'ina woman who is currently enrolled at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Hannah is pursuing an International Studies degree and is president of two student organizations on campus.