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Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FEBRUARY 1, 2024


Eagle Vision and Spike & Sadie Media Announce Option of Award-Winning Book Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge 


The Team is in Development on a Youth-Driven Factual TV Series Based on the Book

 

Winnipeg, MB / Toronto, ON  (February 1, 2024) – It was announced today that Winnipeg’s Eagle Vision and Toronto’s Spike & Sadie Media are partnering on a new factual series based on the award-winning book Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The team have optioned the rights to Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay’s hit new children’s book and are developing it into a series for television. INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, the 10 x 30 youth-driven show will shoot across North America and will be created with Havrelock and Kay as a part of a creative team that also includes Lisa Meeches, Rebecca Gibson, Dinae Robinson, Ira Levy and Kyle Irving, with Shaw Rocket Fund and the CMF as partners in development.


INDIGENOUS INGENUITY will celebrate the amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) contributions of Indigenous Peoples that are revealed in the book. Corn, chocolate, fishing hooks, rubber, innovative boats, recorded history, life-saving disinfectant and forest fire management are all things that our lives would be unrecognizable without and these are just some of the topics covered amongst countless other scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans. INDIGENOUS INGENUITY balances incredible traditional ideas and contemporary technology, with humour and adventure at its core.


"As we researched our book, it quickly became apparent that there were many fascinating Indigenous STEM experts and practitioners from all over Turtle Island who were safeguarding pre-contact Traditional Knowledge," says Kay. "They all had stories to tell and incredible knowledge and wisdom to share, and with the television adaptation of Indigenous Ingenuity, we are excited about bringing these people to the screen and sharing the richness of North American Traditional Knowledge with the world,” says Havrelock.


Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledgeis written by Deidre Havrelock, a children’s author and a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta whose debut book Buffalo Wild! was released in 2021 and Edward Kay (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Jimmy Two Shoes) an award-winning showrunner, screenwriter and author based in Toronto known for his critically acclaimed Gross Science book series. The book has won numerous awards and been featured at conferences and by associations around the world. Within one week of its release, the book reached the #1 Best-Seller Spot on Amazon’s “Children’s Books on Inventors and Inventions” list and has seen tremendous success in the US. The book has been selected by numerous public and school libraries as recommended reading for Native American Heritage Month, including the Los Angeles Public Library, New York Public Library, Princeton Library, District of Columbia Public Library, San Francisco Public Library and was selected for inclusion in the archives of the British Library.


At the heart of INDIGENOUS INGENUITY are two young, Indigenous hosts who each have special gifts that they bring to their adventures, and a special interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A Canada-wide casting search has already begun. Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, the hosts will reappropriate hidden history to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. It will be an interactive celebration of learning about traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and invites the audience to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life.


“Scientific research has proven that representation matters; when kids see people like them doing things they dream of doing, they not only believe they can do it, they are inspired to try,” says the producing team. “INDIGENOUS INGENUITY is led by a team with a proven track record for equity, diversity, accessibility and the series will have interactivity, inclusion and impact as core goals. The creative team, cast, and entire crew will be representative not only of the diversity of Turtle Island’s Indigenous peoples, but will also be a collaboration of all nations sharing their gifts and learning from one another. Diversity includes neurodivergence, differences in ability, gender and sexual identity, and mental health. The impact of including voices that are often underrepresented is world-changing. Traditional teachings honour differences in individuals, and so will this series."


Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge (Hardcover ISBN: 9780316413336; Ages 8-12) has been awarded honors including an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, An American Association of Geography Recommended Book, A National Education Society Read Across America Selection, Winner of the Nerdy Book Club Award for Best Longform Nonfiction, A Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens, A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, A Shelf Awareness Gift Guide Selection, A Junior Library Guild Selection, Recommended Reading on Indigenous Rights by The American Society of International Law. The Junior Library Guild has acquired non-exclusive hardcover book club rights to Indigenous Ingenuity and will distribute in the library market in the United States and Canada. It is expected that the book will be in every school, perhaps even every classroom in the United States and Canada. And the book is only the beginning… 

 

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ABOUT EAGLE VISIONCelebrating over two decades since its founding by Lisa Meeches, Anishinaabe from Long Plain First Nation, Ebb and Flow First Nation, and Sandy Bay First Nation, Eagle Vision creates content that creates change. Eagle Vision has produced hundreds of hours of content across multiple genres and platforms, including the Oscar-winning feature CAPOTE, international hit factual television series ICE ROAD TRUCKERS, drama series BURDEN OF TRUTH, award-winning children’s series TIPI TALES, the socially impactful true-crime series TAKEN, Canada's first original series for Snapchat, RECLAIM(ED) and Canada's longest-running Indigenous series THE SHARING CIRCLE. Eagle Vision’s recent releases include Madison Thomas' CSA and Emmy award-winning feature documentary BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: CARRY IT ON, Danis Goulet's NIGHT RAIDERS with Taika Waititi executive producing; factual series’ 7TH GEN and TRUE STORY for History Channel; hit comedy series DJ BURNT BANNOCK; SKYMED for Paramount+, CBC, and CBS Studios and Deco Dawson's DIASPORA. TRUE STORY was recently nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Red Nation International Film Festival in 2023.Eagle Vision was honoured with the Banff World Media Festival’s Innovative Producer Award in 2022. Recent and upcoming releases include Madison Thomas’ dramatic feature FINALITY OF DUSK and Sam McGlynn and Paul Spence’s DEANER ‘89. www.eaglevision.ca


ABOUT SPIKE & SADIE MEDIAExecutive Producer Ira Levy set up Toronto based SPIKE & SADIE MEDIA, a film and television production company in 2022, to focus on producing scripted and unscripted projects in collaboration with Canadian and international creatives who bring a distinct and clear voice to their storytelling. Levy, a veteran of the Canadian screen industry, founded Breakthrough Entertainment in 1985, an award-winning producer/distributor of original, premium content. Breakthrough’s library of over 50 feature films and 3,000 television episodes aired on major networks and digital channels worldwide. It was recognized with multiple international awards including numerous Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards. As an Executive Producer, Levy’s work includes the crime drama Blood and Water, the HBO Canada comedy Less Than Kind and Kenny vs. Spenny, History Channel’s Greatest Tank Battles and The Wild Ones; animated Teletoon and MTV series Crash Canyon and Rocket Monkeys; children’s series Dudley the Dragon and Science Max; and films including L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables for PBS and Corus, Levy has partnered on co-productions around the world and has worked with a slew of broadcasters and distributors including NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Discovery, Disney, Hallmark, National Geographic, Comedy Central, BBC, TF1, Arte, CBC, Bell, Rogers, Corus and TVOntario.


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