New series features Indigenous youth warriors

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 11:38am


Image Caption

Indigenous youth warrior Nevaeh Pine hangs a red dress in a tree during the filming of Warrior Up!, a series on APTN and APTN lumi.
By Crystal St.Pierre
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s time to Warrior Up!

APTN, in association with Picture This Productions, is launching a 13-episode series titled Warrior Up! on May 11, and streaming on APTN lumi starting May 4.

Each week a new 30-minute episode will feature young Indigenous changemakers across the country.

The show concentrates on the positive things that Indigenous youth across North America do that will inspire people, said series co-producer Maureen Marovitch.

“Each one is a mini-documentary. Each one has a beginning, middle and end. They're fun to watch. They're inspiring. They're really positive uplifting stories,” Marovitch said.

She co-produced the series with David Finch, who together own Picture This Productions.

From packing blessing bags, participating in cultural games, activism through public speaking or participating in various causes, the young people featured range in age from 15 years old to 24. They are creating change in their communities and beyond.

There were about 50 entries received from “young people doing amazing things,” said Marovitch. From those applicants, producers chose 13 stories to tell. Two of the main qualifications for choosing which stories to film were the ability to visually capture the story and if the story it was currently taking place.

“Some things are tough to capture in television,” said Marovitch. “They would make a great radio story or a great print story, but (for example) they were happening online. To be honest, we were looking for ones that we could follow in person in a short period of time.”

Anna Lambe
Anna Lambe

The series is hosted by three individuals: Anna Lambe an Inuk from Iqaluit, who is known for her roles in True Detective, Three Pines and The Grizzlies; Joshua Odjick from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, known for his roles in The Swarm, Little Bird and Wildhood; and Joel Oulette, who has ties to Cumberland House Cree Nation and the Red River Métis Nation, known for his roles in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Trickster.

“They are quite amazing because I think they really gave a lot of themselves in this way. Like they're all actors, so they're used to being somebody on camera, somebody else. But in this case, they really were giving of themselves,” Marovitch said of the three hosts.

Lambe said hosting the show was an opportunity to really get involved with inspiring stories and youth.

“What drew me to the project was, as a youth myself and somebody who was doing advocacy work and trying to also create change within my community, when chatting with Maureen … (She) was bringing up all of these different people I knew and people that are featured … who were doing important community work and seeing the ways that we could potentially platform the work that these Indigenous youth were doing. It was without a second thought,” said Lambe of her involvement. “Of course I wanted to be a part of a platform. Of course I want to support my peers and the work they are doing.”

In one episode Lambe follows Nevaeh Pine from the Garden River First Nation as she uses her voice to communicate issues that are affecting her community, including the Every Child Matters and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Two Spirit (MMIW2) movements.

“When I went to Sault Ste. Marie to meet Nevaeh Pine, I got to watch her do her final public speaking competition piece, and then we got to attend the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day Ceremony that she had organized with the school,” Lambe said.

At the time of filming, Pine was a 15-year-old who was already well-versed in advocacy work and who had participated in a numerous speaking competitions.

“I started my advocacy work, originally, when I would go to oral competitions and speaking competitions,” said Pine. “But I never fully grasped the depth of my topic of MMIW until I would hear the women’s stories and the families calling out for help finding their loved ones.”

She said her passion for using her voice for change was born through “so many little ties of my life that have just come together to bring me and give me the strength to where I am now.”

The now 17-year-old has not skipped a beat since filming and continues to speak in competitions and events.

“Because when we all speak up and stand out together, our voices are stronger as one.”

Her support for the cause stems from the simple fact that she too is a young Indigenous woman, and she has immense compassion for the families who have and are still suffering from the loss of a loved one.

“It’s something that affected me because I’m a young Indigenous woman myself, and seeing these problems grow throughout communities and hearing the stories of these women, hearing the stories of the family and the cries for help against this injustice is something that inspired me,” Pine explained.

When drafting a speech, Pine spends hours researching the topic, using newspaper clippings, movies, documentaries, social media posts and really listening to the words she finds there.

“It’s something that takes lots of time to find the right words to describe how I feel and what needs to be said,” she added. “It takes multiple rewriting, multiple. Just looking over all of my research and all of my notes and putting little things together that all become the big speech.”

By sharing her journey on Warrior Up!, Pine said she hopes to “inspire others to stand up and speak out against injustices. Because we must speak out and demand action… I want to inspire other Indigenous youth to not be afraid to use their voice.”

The Warrior Up! series features a companion website (, with social media accounts and a digital Activism 101 Toolkit to help youth create change in their own communities.

To watch Pine’s episode or to follow the Warrior Up! series visit the Warrior Up! website at or go to the APTN’s series page

Information is also available on, and

Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.