The Okanagan Indian Band’s youngest council member has secured funding to bring to life a docu-series exploring Indigenous health.
Vernon’s Ryan Oliverius received $10,000 from the Telus Storyhive. He’s one of 91 creators who earned funding through the inaugural Storyhive Voices initiative, which comes with training and a community of support.
Oliverius, 30, will be creating a docu-series called Decolonizing Wellness, covering topics related to Indigenous health and wellness in a series of eight to 10 videos.
“Decolonizing Wellness is kind of like an experimental approach to see what it truly means to be well through a two-eyed seeing approach, which means weaving together Indigenous knowledge and Western knowledge and trying to have a balance between the two on wellness practices,” he said.
Oliverius says the $10,000 will be used for equipment, script-writing, editing, as well as interviews with Elders.
“I’m going to be interviewing some traditional Syilx Elders and community knowledge keepers and get some knowledge from them on what our people did as Syilx people did to feel well and whole, before colonization,” he said.
Oliverius doesn’t want to put out too many spoilers, but says diet and exercise will be among the topics his videos will explore.
“Diet and exercise is a huge one because diabetes and heart disease is very prevalent in Indigenous communities.”
There will also be a focus on reconnecting with the land.
Oliverius says Decolonizing Wellness is something he’d been thinking about for a long time before he’d heard of Storyhive Voices.
“When I got the email for the Storyhive Voices to submit an application, I kind of thought I didn’t want to just think about it anymore and actually act on it.”
Oliverius will start making videos in April. He’ll start Storyhive Voices training on Jan. 25.
“By giving Ryan the opportunity to share knowledge on wellness through the lens of Indigenous people, we hope we can support his journey to bring Indigenous health to the forefront and find solutions to weave together western and Syilx medicine for healthy generations to come. We are excited to welcome Ryan and to help kickstart this project with funding, training and distribution,” said Laura Duncan, Storyhive Voices project manager.