Cree-Métis Coleen Rajotte is an award winning television and documentary producer and co-founder of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival. She began her independent career in 1999 after nine years as a CBC journalist and the first Aboriginal woman on network news. Over the years, Coleen has built her reputation covering social issues. Past topics have included aboriginal gangs, the legacy of residential shcools and adoption. Her work has won awards at the New York FIlm Festival and the Columbus International Film Festival.
She has produced several award-winning documentaries that have screened internationally including: Jaynelle: It’s Never Easy To Escape The Past, about an aboriginal single mother, Back to Pikangikum (2005), an in-depth look at suicide among aboriginal youth, and most recently the three-part series about Aboriginal adoptees Confronting the Past (2006). These docs have been broadcast on such networks as Aboriginal People’s Television Network, the CBC, Maori TV in New Zealand, and the Saskatchewan Communications Network to critical and popular acclaim. They have garnered numerous awards worldwide and have been screened at International festivals including Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, the Smithsonian’s Festival of the American Indian in NewYork City, and the International Paris/Canada Film Festival in Paris, France. She is currently in production on the sequel update for her award-winning film Jaynelle and a film about her own adoption.
Rajotte’s commitment to social issues and the Aboriginal community led to the creation of VITALITY TV in 2006 as a way to broadcast practical information on all aspects of health to an Aboriginal audience across Canada. The ground-breaking show is the first lifestyle show from a uniquely Aboriginal perspective, currently airing on Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) and JOY TV.
In 2008 she launched the first ever gardening program from an Indigenous perspective, VITALITY GARDENING, which hit #1 nationally by its 7th week on the air.
Ms. Rajotte was recently awarded the Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty the Queen for her work as an aboriginal filmmaker/role model.