This Friday, September 30th marks Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools. In recognition of this important day, ET Canada is welcoming back entrepreneur and activist Shayla Stonechild to co-host our half-hour TV special “Indigenous Artists & Icons: Celebrating the Future”.

The special features interviews with a number of trailblazers, including legendary musician and social activist Buffy Sainte-Marie with musicians Fawn Wood, Shawnee Kish and Amanda Rheaume, country and folk singer-songwriter Don Amero, actor Devery Jacobs, editor Rebeka Tabobondung, writer Lauren DeLeary, “Big Brother Canada”‘s Josh Nash and Kiefer Collison and Juno Award-nominated First Nations hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

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Shayla Stonechild joins ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey in studio for “Indigenous Artists & Icons: Celebrating the Future”.
Shayla Stonechild joins ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey in studio for “Indigenous Artists & Icons: Celebrating the Future”. — Photo: ET Canada

“Indigenous Artists & Icons” will also showcase inspirational messages of hope from DJ Shub and pop duo Neon Dreams, plus Stonechild pays a visit to the Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow and Traditional Gathering.

In honour of Canada’s rich and diverse culture of Indigenous peoples and their contributions to the world of entertainment, the TV special will highlight their community’s advocacy work and how they’re continuing to push forward conversations around further inclusivity in the industry.

READ MORE: Buffy Sainte-Marie Releases New Books Celebrating Indigenous Culture And Language

Viewers will see Sainte-Marie and Wood discuss the importance of Indigenous youth being able to see other people who look like them and come from the same background while Kish and Rheaume, who recently launched a women-led Indigenous music label called Ishkodé Records, chat about representing their culture and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Elsewhere, Amero — an Indigenous country artist who sits on the board of the CCMAs — shares how the organization is “really trying to make a difference” towards better representation of Indigenous people in their community.

“I really, you know, try to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak,” Amero tells ET Canada about doing the work that he feels needs to be done.

Meanwhile, Jacobs, Nash and Collison dive into the future of sharing indigenous stories in TV and film.

Jacobs, who stars in “Reservation Dogs”, hopes that a “whole industry” can be created for native people.

“I wanna see us take over, and I wanna see so many of the stories that we have to share, because we’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” she shares.

Nash, who starred in season 10 of “Big Brother Canada”, can agree with Jacobs, adding that he would love to see more Indigenous people “share their stories and their culture because it’s just so diverse.”

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Collison, who also starred in season 9 of the hit Canadian series, believes “there’s so much more opportunities to showcase Indigenous peoples across Canada” given the “show’s success and where it could potentially go.”

During the special episode, things get emotional when the Snotty Nose Rez Kids pay tribute to their ancestors who paved the way for them, emphasizing the work that still needs to be done in order to truly foster reconciliation.

Stonechild returns to ET Canada after co-hosting the 2021 award-winning special “Artists & Icons: Indigenous Entertainers in Canada,” which was recognized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television with two honours: Best Talk Program or Series and Best Direction, Lifestyle or Information.

ET Canada’s “Indigenous Artists & Icons: Celebrating the Future” airs Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Global. The special will stream live and on demand on STACKTV and the Global TV App.