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. Her mother is a survivor of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, Moshkekowok territory, and she currently resides in Vancouver. She is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice with the University of British Columbia – her research focus is Indigenous documentary. In 2010, she completed graduate school at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she received the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement. While pursuing her Masters, Jules finished her first feature length documentary film, Remembering Inninimowin, about her journey of remembering Cree. After graduation, Jules was one of six women selected for the Women in the Director’s Chair program at the Banff Center in Alberta, where she directed a scene from her feature script Broken Angel, currently in development. Jules’ television series AskiBOYZ (2016) co-produced with Big Soul Production is about two urban Cree youth reconnecting with the land. AskiBOYZ is currently being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.
Over the years, Jules has established herself within the film and television community. Her company VisJuelles Productions Inc. has a number of films and other media works in development. In 2017, she released her short documentary NiiSoTeWak with CBC Short Docs and also Butterfly Monument with her co-director/producer Rick Miller. Jules was also the 2017 Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence with the Vancouver Public Library. Planet In Focus invited Jules as the lead filmmaker to work with Cree youth in Attawapiskat First Nation where they made over twenty films. In the fall of 2018, Jules is releasing a short narrative film entitled OChiSkwaCho. She is also in development with her television series Threshold with Jules Koostachin. She’s presently working on two manuscripts, Soul Kept and Moccasin Souls about intergenerational resilience. She is lead editor and contributor of a forthcoming collection entitled Children of Survivors with the University of Regina Press. Jules carries extensive knowledge working in Indigenous community in several different capacities providing support to Indigenous women and children who face barriers; these community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and her arts practice.
Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths, published by Kegedonce Press in summer 2018, is her first book of poetry, and was a twenty year journey.