WHAT IS BEARPAW MEDIA AND EDUCATION?
We are a department of Native Counselling Services of Alberta. We produce and distribute public legal education resources for Indigenous Peoples in Alberta that are culturally-relevant. BearPaw media includes publications, videos and workshops. We designed these resources to support self-determination amongst Indigenous individuals and families who can confidently navigate legal systems that affect their lives.
All of BearPaw Resources are designed for public use by individuals and in classrooms, workshops, and community programs. All resources include public performance rights (PPR).
We acknowledge that many Indigenous Peoples frequently experience racism and discrimination in court systems while feeling alienated by legal jargon and procedures. We strive to create multimedia that supports and guides Indigenous people through these complex legal systems. We aim to make legal information accessible to those most in need. BearPaw resources can also be used by those in government, non-profit, education, and others who support Indigenous individuals.
BearPaw Media Productions began in 1976. A team of Indigenous researchers, writers, producers, directors, and production crews first produced slideshows and created films. Since that time BearPaw films continue to explore issues relevant to Indigenous communities. These include:
- Educating Indigenous Peoples about their rights
- Fostering new ideas and discussion
- Increasing awareness about social and justice issues
We distribute BearPaw videos in Alberta, across Canada, and even overseas! BearPaw has received many accolades at film festivals including Calgary International Film Festival, Yorkton Film Festival, Dreamspeakers Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, ImagineNative Film Festival, and Alberta Film and Television Awards.
In 2006, while BearPaw Media Productions was still up and running, Native Counselling Services of Alberta started the Alberta Aboriginal Legal Education Centre to conduct legal education research and to create resources that were specific to Indigenous communities. From there, the centre evolved first into BearPaw Legal Education and Resource Centre (?) and then into BearPaw Legal Education in 2015. Slowly and naturally, BearPaw Media Productions merged with BearPaw Legal Education into what is now BearPaw Media and Education.
Throughout this evolution, we continued to fill gaps in public legal education with resources made for Indigenous people by Indigenous people. We intend to carry this legacy into the future.