Yellowknife’s Eugene Boulanger will soon be bringing his love of the land and storytelling to the podcast universe as the new host of Stories From The Land.
The podcast, created by Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon for his Indian and Cowboy media network, offers “a collection of Indigenous community sourced stories that connect Indigenous Peoples to land and place with the aim of reinforcing Indigenous worldview, philosophies & cultural teachings.”
The 28-year-old, Tulita-born Boulanger is taking over as host for season two, scheduled to begin early in the new year. Audio for the show is recorded across the country during McMahon’s comedy tours and conference speaking gigs; as he travels, he hosts events where Indigenous people are invited to share stories, personal anecdotes and traditions about the land and the history of the place. Boulanger will be working with a team of writers and producers to turn this audio into compelling narrative podcasts, and will be introducing each of the clips.
“I will be writing my own contributions, but there’s a creative team behind me, helping solicit stories,” says Boulanger, who is taking over from Pottawatomi and Ojibwe academic Hayden King. “I’d like to build on his model: take a minute introducing each piece, share some reflections on each story, what he found important, interesting and relevant.”
Boulanger will be working mostly from within the NWT, though there’s a chance he may get to tour with the show and host events with McMahon. The episodes range from around 15 minutes to 45 minutes, and they try to air at least one episode a month.
It’s Boulanger’s first time hosting a show, though he’s worked in podcasting before, most recently during a multimedia drug awareness campaign with youth from the Sahtu. And his new position is very much a continuation of the work he’s been doing as a founding member of Dene Nahjo, whose motto is “Land, Language and Culture Forever.”
“We want to use our histories to dig deep into issues of the past and present,” McMahon explains in a recent call for contributors. “We want to celebrate Indigenous life and its heroes. We want to connect ALL of these things back to the land and the places we are from.”