Josephine Small

auntie josephine | cree teacher

Josephine Small has been the Cree teacher and Auntie on all three seasons of Tansi! Nehiyawetan. She hails from the Ermineskin Reserve in Hobbema, Alberta, or Neyaskweyahk in Cree. Josephine comes from a long line of leaders and Chiefs including Chief Dan Minde, Chief Robert Smallboy of Smallboy's Camp, and Chief Bobtail who signed the adhesion to Treaty Six for their area in 1877.

Josephine's grandparents were a big influence in her life and it is from them and her parents that she has learned what she knows of her language and culture. She and her siblings were never allowed to speak English to their late paternal grandfather, John Smallboy, who always said to them "ne hi ya we", which means "speak Cree". Cree was her first language, which she now teaches at Kisipatnahk School in Louis Bull in Alberta. She works hard to pass on the knowledge and keep the language alive. Children have to know where they came from to know where they are going. Most importantly, they need to know the Cree language – it is their identity. This is why Josephine chose to teach Cree, and why her work on Tansi! Nehiyawetan has been vital to preserving her language.

Kai Todd-Darrell

kai | cree student

Kai plays on a basketball team, and he also enjoys gymnastics, swimming and skateboarding. He loves learning and performing, making him a great kid host for Tansi! Nehiyawetan. On set, Kai is the one-take wonder who would almost always hit his mark and take direction without a fuss.

His charisma is evident on screen, especially when he is getting a chance to run, break-dance, or climb. Kai has studied drama and dance, but much of what makes him such a great performer is that he is very natural and spontaneous. Kai is Metis and Cree from Alberta.

Kayla Dakis

kayla | cree student

Kayla is a fun, spirited young lady and a very caring person who loves to hang out with her friends. She loves animals and loves taking care of them. She hopes to be a veterinarian one day. Her favorite books to read are books about animals. Kayla is Cree from Saskatchewan and is very proud of her multi-cultural heritage. She's very excited to have returned for the 3rd season of Nehiyawetan.

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