Named 2012 Female News-maker of the Year by Wawatay News, Michelle is an award-winning filmmaker who brings her twelve years of experience as a front line social worker to bear on her drama and documentary film work. Co-owner of Thunderstone Pictures, she works as a producer, director, writer, and occasionally even as an actor. She is Bear Clan originally from Migisi Sahgaigan, (Eagle Lake First Nation) in Northwestern Ontario. She has been a guest on TVO and CBC’s “The Current” speaking about First Nations issues, addiction, and the Indian residential school experience. In addition to her film work she has delivered workshops on innovations in group therapy for youth, using art as a healing tool, parenting, and violence in Aboriginal communities. She has also published on the topic of Historical and Social Influences on Violence in Aboriginal Communities.
Michelle’s focus has been on using film as a vehicle for healing and empowerment. She produced and directed “The Life You Want: A Young Woman’s Struggle Through Addiction” and the youth arts education project “Eagle vs. Sparrow” which received an Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Short Drama at the 2011 ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival. She wrote and starred in the multiple-award-winning “Seeking Bimaadiziiwin” and made her directorial debut with the “The Healing Lens“, a documentary about the power of art and culture in healing First Nation’s Youth which won for Best Public Service Film at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. In addition to producing and directing, Michelle has also worked on many other productions in the capacity of Art Director, Script Supervisor, Researcher, Interviewer and on-camera host. She has also narrated several films including “To My Son In Spain“.
Michelle’s film Return To Minomin, a documentary chronicling the return of four generations of her family back to their traditional wild rice lake, is currently touring the festival circuit.