A Vancouver Island-based podcast exploring all things Indigenous and First Nations has made it onto Amazon Music’s “Best Canadian Podcast of the Year” list.
Our Native Land, hosted by CHEK’s Tchadas Leo, received the honour Wednesday alongside 19 other podcasts. Leo, who’s also a multimedia journalist at CHEK News, is thrilled his show is being recognized nationally.
“This is quite the honour that the podcast is reaching people across the country and not just on Vancouver Island,” said Leo. “The idea that the topics and people we are talking about on the show are reaching a wider audience feels really good.”
The podcast, which launched in November 2020, features “fun interviews and compelling discussions about Indigenous and First Nations cuisine, culture, heritage, and more from Vancouver Island and around the world,” reads a synopsis.
In fact, Our Native Land was CHEK’s first-ever podcast, and more than 100 episodes have aired since its premiere.
The series is often recorded at CHEK’s studio in Victoria, but sometimes host Leo travels alongside a film crew and is joined by guests of all backgrounds and professions “for educational, emotional, and engaging conversations.”
‘A platform for those who’ve never had a chance’
The latest episode, for example, saw Leo in Bamfield, where he went on an adventure with a tour company and explored Kiixin, the only known traditional First Nations village remaining on the west coast of southern B.C.
Other on-location features included trips to Bute Inlet, Whitehorse, Kaska Dena, Edmonton and “more amazing locations to provide audiences with cross-country and cross-nation perspectives,” said Leo.
“The whole goal of the show is to provide a platform for those who’ve never had a chance to before,” he said, expressing his excitement for making it onto Amazon’s list.
The streaming platforms’ “Best of the Year” lists acknowledge “Top pods, favourite new shows, staff picks and more,” it says. Other categories include “Critically Acclaimed” and “Ones to Watch.”
It’s just another accomplishment Leo and the series’ post-production team Aaron LeLiever and Kyle Lancaster can add to their resumes.
In 2022, Our Native Land was awarded “Most Outstanding Indigenous Podcast Series” at the Canadian Podcast Awards.
“This recognition further grows the show to reach new heights and more eyes and ears,” said Leo. “Myself and the team work really hard to provide the best interviews and topics possible.”
Our Native Land is currently on hiatus, according to Leo, but it will return with all-new episodes in February 2024. “We are excited to launch the new season,” he added.