MA in Documentary Media Program, Ryerson University (2010)
BA in Fine Arts, Major Theatre Program, Concordia University (1996)

Biography

Born in Moose Factory Ontario, Jules was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and also with her mother in Ottawa, a warrior of the Canadian Residential school system. Jules is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation, the ancestral lands of the MoshKeKo InNiNeWak. She currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, her research focus is Indigenous documentary. In 2010, she completed her masters at Ryerson University in Documentary Media where she was awarded the Award of Distinction for her thesis work, as well as the Graduate Ryerson Gold Medal for highest academic achievement. While in graduate school, she produced her first feature documentary film Remembering Inninimowin regarding her journey of remembering Cree. After graduation, Jules was one of six women selected for the Women in the Directors Chair program at the Banff Center, where she directed a scene from her feature script Broken Angel, which is currently in development. Jules’ television series AskiBOYZ (2016) co-produced with Big Soul Production is now being aired on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Jules’ company VisJuelles Productions Inc. has a number of films and other media works in development. In 2017, she released her short documentary NiiSoTeWak and her second CBC short OshKiKiShiKaw: A New Day will be released in early 2019. In 2017, she released a short documentary Butterfly Monument about her relation, the late Shannen Koostachin with co-director/producer Rick Miller. Jules was the 2017 Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence with the Vancouver Public Library where she further developed her poetry. In the fall of 2018, Jules latest narrative film OChiSkwaCho premiered at ImagineNative Film Festival, and she is also in development with two (2) television series Threshold with Jules Koostachin and SACRED.

In 2018, her first book of poetry Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was published with Kegedonce Press, and she was also a selected filmmaker for the TIFF Filmmakers Lab. Jules is currently writing her first novel Moccasin Souls and is aiming to defend her PhD thesis in the fall of 2019. She carries extensive knowledge working in Indigenous community in several different capacities and these community experiences continue to feed her advocacy and her arts practice.

Learn more about Jules on UBC’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies:
https://www.grad.ubc.ca/campus-community/meet-our-students/koostachin-jules

Research

My dissertation will examine the practices and methodologies of indigenous women creating digital stories from the margins of society. I will first link my own research and scholarly interests to my proposed area of study, then briefly outline connections to current research in this area and finally outline my own professional experience and expertise. My intent is to identify and gain a deeper understanding of social obstacles and possibilities indigenous women encounter in the practice of digital storytelling. Indigenous women who practice digital storytelling are confronted with an adverse identity formation constructed by mainstream media evoking a critical response from an evolving audience of viewers, listeners and makers. As we have come to understand mainstream media tends to fabricate damaging ideas and/or ideologies of indigenous woman thus leaving little to no space for an authentic indigenous voice.   My methodology is informed by an indigenous epistemology where I will ensure that the knowledge gained during this process of discovery is disseminated responsibly in regards to customary practices and value frameworks of indigenous peoples, more specifically the Inninuwak of Mushkegowuk territory in northern Ontario in which I am affiliated. There are many aspects to my research goals, one being to focus on indigenous women currently working both from the margins of society and within mainstream, yet serve to be agents of change.

Selected Publications

2012, Remembering Inninimowin, Canadian Journal of Law and Society – Master thesis related

2011, God and Me & Cocoom, The Willow’s Whisper, Waterford, Ireland – poetry

2011, Winter of Black Wiyas, Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, U of Arizona – poetry

2009, Birch Talking, Photographic Memoir, Blurb Publishing – Masters related

2008, Asivak’s Creation Story, Footpaths & Bridges – Short play

 

UBC Aboriginal Scholarship
PLACEnta (2015) Belize International Film Festival – Best Short Documentary
Ryerson University Award of Distinction
Ryerson University Gold Medal for Academic Achievement
Ontario Arts Council, Writers Award
National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Fine Arts Recipient Award
Female Eye Film Festival, Best Fresh Voice Screenplay Award
National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Fine Arts Recipient Award
Ontario Arts Council, Career Development and Mentorship Award
OchiSkwaCho (2019) Vancouver International Women in Film Festival – Matrix Award for Outstanding Achievement in a BC Short Film
NiiSoTeWak (2017) LA Skins Fest – Achievement in Short Documentary Film
NiiSoTeWak (2017) Best Shorts Competition – Best Short Documentary