Broadcaster Magazine

CBC Saskatchewan Wins 2013 Canada Award

The 2013 Canada Award is proudly presented to television documentary Blind Spot: What Happened to Canada’s Aboriginal Fathers? by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, it was announced today.

“This socially conscious and inspirational documentary captures the difficulties young adults experience in some Canadian Aboriginal communities,” says Academy CEO Helga Stephenson. “We congratulate the creators of Blind Spot: What Happened to Canada’s Aboriginal Fathers? and are honoured to recognize their achievements and the important message this film conveys.”

The Canada Award honours excellence in mainstream television programming that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Canada. The Canada Award will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the first ever Canadian Screen Awards Television and Digital Media Awards.

Blind Spot: What Happened to Canada’s Aboriginal Fathers? is a one-hour television documentary filmed in North Central Regina, directed and produced by CBC Saskatchewan’s Geoff Leo. The documentary sheds light on the largely unknown and unstudied problem of fatherlessness in the Aboriginal community, i.e. the “blind spot.”

“We are incredibly honoured to be recognized with this Canada Award,” says Blind Spot producer/director, Geoff Leo. “We really believe that the message of this documentary is one that Canadians need to hear; one that’s been ignored for too long and we hope this Canada Award will give this important issue the awareness it deserves.”

The program follows three First Nations men as they face their own personal demons on their quest to become better fathers – though the deck is stacked against them. The documentary’s prime focus is on a 16-year-old abandoned by his father and about to become a dad himself.

We also meet the only Canadian academic who has studied this problem. She points out there’s a similar problem with African-American fathers in the United States. But in that country there long has been a public and sustained focus on solutions—from the White House on down. By contrast, here at home the problem of absent fathers in the Aboriginal community is all but ignored.