Chief Calvin Craigan of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation will make history this fall by hosting his own talk show on Coast TV.
And to make the launch of the show even more historic, Craigan is inviting Prime Minister Stephen Harper to be his first in-studio guest.
The twice-monthly half-hour show will be the first of its kind in Canada to be hosted by a First Nation chief, said Michael Morgan, the shíshálh Nation’s communication coordinator.
“The show is part of the chief’s grander vision to heal shíshálh people and the community itself by getting to know each other better, and that begins with communication and good old-fashioned story-telling,” Morgan said.
The show will open with a current affairs segment featuring invited guests who could range from provincial leaders to CEOs to local government leaders, Morgan said, adding that Craigan believes Harper will take him up on his offer to appear on the first show.
“He believes the PM will accept because Mr. Harper knows that Canada is made up of many thousands of small towns and communities, and like the Sunshine Coast they need to see the prime minister reach out to them and show he is interested in the world they live in,” Morgan said.
“As well, many First Nations live in those small towns, and a visit from a sitting prime minister as an election year looms ahead, particularly as Chief Craigan makes history with his new TV show, makes good sense politically.”
The current affairs portion of the show will be followed by two-minute vignettes created by young Band members, followed by a longer segment that will feature Band officials discussing issues of importance to the shíshálh.
Morgan said Coast TV program director Steve Sleep, recognizing “the chief’s extraordinary ability to communicate his ideas and his vision for the people of the Nation and the community,” tapped Craigan for the show and has offered to train three Band members in television production.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Morgan said. “We’re going to take photos of the longhouse and that’s what our set is going to look like, so that the chief is in the longhouse.”
One thing the show doesn’t have yet is a name. That should soon change, however, as Craigan is offering a new big-screen TV to the Band member who comes up with the winning entry, with May 9 set as the deadline.
Morgan said he expects several of the episodes will be pre-taped over the summer.
© Coast Reporter