“Bringing women up to the top” is the motivation behind producers Shirley McLean and Tania Koenig-Gauchier’s upcoming docuseries Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet.
The nine-episode sequence is ready to air May 3 in Cree on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and May 4 in English. It may even be streamed on APTN lumi.
The present follows Dr. Savannah Howse-Smith, a southern Alberta Métis lady, as she cares for a spread of animals by her blended animal observe, all whereas she learns more about her heritage.
“With Dr. Savannah, we are showcasing that Indigenous people are more than just our trauma stories,” mentioned McLean. “We’re more than that. A lot of us come from that place, but we can also thrive and survive and we’re flourishing.”
Howse-Smith has been working as a veterinarian for the previous 9 years, and presently is situated at Rocky Rapids Veterinary Service in Drayton Valley, Alta.
She found her Métis background whereas attending veterinarian faculty.
When the two producers got here up with the concept of making a docuseries about Indigenous veterinarians, they despatched out a casting name to the veterinarian schools throughout Canada.
“There was a nationwide search and Savanah was just the standout because she was just personable, and witty and loving,” mentioned Koenig-Gauchier. “She had all of these qualities in her and she just really opened herself up in front of the cameras. We knew she was the one.”
The crew travels to places inside Alberta, together with the Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site in Smokey Lake, to look deeper into Howse’s historical past. They additionally journey to locations outdoors of the province, together with Cambridge Bay the place Howse-Smith supplies care to the animals.
The present illustrates how necessary it’s to find who you might be in the current, but additionally to find the place the drive and inspiration derives out of your previous.
“Here was an opportunity for me, as a producer, to bring information to the world about the Métis peoples of this country,” mentioned Koenig-Gauchier. “There’s not a lot of content out there where people can learn this. There’s more content out there regarding First nations and Inuit, and this is wonderful, and so now we are bringing Métis content and I think that is so positive.”
“Part of our mandate is to showcase to the world that Indigenous people are ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” mentioned McLean.
One of the tasks that Howse-Smith highlights in the sequence is her volunteer work with the Canadian Animal Task Force that focuses on “helping people helping animals.”
As half of its scope, the group travels to First Nations communities to work with their free-roaming canine inhabitants.
“We go to First Nations communities and perform spay and neuter procedures, as well as vaccinations and deworming,” mentioned Howse-Smith. “We have a lot of other supportive programs, like setting up bylaw programs, providing education and community outreach.”
Howse-Smith mentioned she feels this program is essential for the communities she works with and to spotlight it on the present. Part of her personal mission is to supply viewers with a greater understanding about what the beliefs are in Indigenous communities and why free-roaming animals exists.
“It shows how Indigenous people have a human-animal bond,” she mentioned. “So, the way they interact with animals is different than a lot of other cultures. I think it is really cool that we have a chance to showcase that and show it. It gives a bit of a platform for people from those communities to talk about the animals that they really love and then show how they care (for them). It’s an idea that these animals are living more so in a way that is respectful of their nature, who they are as animals.”
With a want to assist — whether or not it’s the damaged wing of an owl, a canine that swallowed a toy or a horse that wants dental work — Howse-Smith affords her abilities to all animals, home and wild.
“The variety is key and that’s what I really like. To see something different every day. It keeps it interesting,” Howse-Smith mentioned.
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