Jules Arita Koostachin, author of Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths
Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a warrior of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, the Ancestral lands of the MoshKeKo InNiNeWak. She currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, her research focus is Indigenous documentary. She is defending her thesis/dissertation in the summer of 2020.
In 2010, she completed her masters at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she was awarded the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement. While in graduate school, she produced her first feature documentary film Remembering Inninimowin regarding her journey of remembering Cree. After graduation, Jules was one of six women selected for the Women in the Directors Chair program at the Banff Center, where she directed a scene from her feature script Broken Angel. Her script recently went was selected for the TIFF's filmmaker lab, as well as the Whistler's Screenwriting lab.
Jules’ company VisJuelles Productions Inc. has a number of films and other media works in development. Her television series AskiBOYZ (2016) co-produced with Big Soul Production is now being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in both Cree and English. In 2017, she released her short documentary NiiSoTeWak: Two Bodies, One Heart and her second CBC short OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day was released in the spring of 2019. She is in post-production with her third documentary KaYaMenTa: Sharing Truths about Menopause, which will be released in the summer of 2020. Over the years, she has released a number of other films/projects: Butterfly Monument (2017) about her relation, the late Shannen Koostachin with co-director/producer Rick Miller. In the fall of 2018, Jules latest narrative film OChiSkwaCho (MATRIX Award) premiered at ImagineNative Film Festival, and she is also in development with two (2) APTN television series Threshold with Jules Koostachin and SacRED.
Jules was the Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence with the Vancouver Public Library where she further developed her poetry. Her first book of poetry Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths (2018) was published with Kegedonce Press, and Jules is currently writing her first novel Moccasin Souls to be launched in the fall of 2020. Jules is currently represented by The Characters in Vancouver, and she commonly known as the voice of Layla (Mom) on the new PBS Kids/CBC Kids (2020) animated series Molly of Denali. She carries extensive knowledge working in Indigenous community in several different capacities and these community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and her arts practice. Her website is juleskoostachin.com