BARBARA TODD HAGER is a producer, director and writer based in Victoria, Canada. She was born in Edmonton, the sixth of eight children in a Metis/Cree/Scottish/Irish/French family with roots in St. Paul des Metis Settlement, Duck Lake, North Dakota and the Red River Settlement.
Hager worked as an arts administrator for the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Art Commission, Writer’s Voice of Kentucky, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, North American Indigenous Games and the First Peoples Cultural Foundation. She was the Aboriginal Liaison at the Royal British Columbia Museum in the 1990s.
Barbara is the author of two books – “Honour Song” which profiles 16 Canadian Indigenous role models, and “On Her Way: The Life and Music of Shania Twain”. Her third book, “Ten Thousand Nations” will be published in 2021. She has had articles and stories published in the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, US Rock, Metis, Focus on Women and Native American Artist.
In 2002, Hager became the host and associate producer of The New Canoe, an Aboriginal arts and culture series on CHUM TV’s Victoria station. She acquired the series from CHUM and was the producer/director for seven seasons (2003-2009). The series (91 x 30 minutes) also aired on CTV’s A-Channels and APTN. She produced, directed and wrote the environmental documentary series Down2Earth (26 X 30 minutes) that aired on APTN and NITV. The series won an Environmental Media Award in 2011 for Best Environmental Doc Series in Canada. Several seasons of the New Canoe and Down2Earth were versioned in Indigenous languages, with support from the Canada Media Fund’s Indigenous Languages Program.
In 2006, Hager produced and directed From Bella Coola to Berlin, an historical documentary that traces the journey of nine Nuxalk First Nations men from Bella Coola to Germany in 1885. (Bravo!, APTN, Knowledge and Discovery Germany.)
Hager’s second documentary, Sounds Like Motown, follows the relationship between Motown diva Martha Reeves and the Victoria High R&B Band, a group of talented high school students in Victoria, Canada. (Bravo!, APTN and SCN.)
Her residential school history documentary Truth Dance & Reconciliation, about the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “Going Home Star,” was licensed by CBC and APTN.
Barbara Hager is the writer/director and co-producer of 1491: The Untold History of the Americas Before Columbus based on the book “1491” by Charles C. Mann. The series won Best Documentary Series (BC Producers Barbara Hager, Pat Ferns), Best Documentary Screenwriter (Barbara Hager) and Best Music Composer (Russell Wallace).
She is the writer/producer of Season 2 of All Our Relations (7 X 30 minutes), a genealogy / biography series that will be broadcast on APTN in 2022.
Barbara is currently in development with “Forbidden Music”, a feature documentary about the Jewish Austrian-Canadian ethnomusicologist Ida Halpern and Kwakwaka’wakw Chief Mungo Martin. The film explores the bans on music for Jewish and Indigenous people in the mid-twentieth century, and the determination of Halpern, Martin and other Indigenous singers, to preserve First Nations songs.
Barbara was the 2019 Indspire Arts Award recipient – https://indspire.ca/laureate/barbara-todd-hager/