Miranda Currie is busy these days. She is running her business, CuRiouS CoNNectionS, making music, writing scripts, teaching kids and pitching films. Her goal is to create authentic northern Indigenous content that is accessible to children and families.
Creating Authentic Northern Indigenous Content
Miranda Currie is a northern Indigenous multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Sombe K’e, colonially known as Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, among the Dene people.
She draws inspiration from both her Swampy Cree roots from her mother’s side and her Euro-Canadian from her father’s side. Her company, CuRiouS CoNNectionS, create northern Indigenous content accessible to children and families.
She was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and lived a close life with nature. She spent her summers camping, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and berry picking with her extended family; fall meant chopping the wood for winter.
During winter, she got involved in cross-country skiing with her cousins and snowmobiling with her brother and a great time for sewing, crafting, baking and practicing music.
She travelled extensively during her teenage and adulthood, travelling to Winnipeg and Minneapolis with her school band and orchestra, travelling to Europe with her Pathfinder group and living in Switzerland, New Zealand and South Korea.
She was the first in her family to complete a post-secondary degree and later obtained her teaching degree from Queen’s University. These experiences and initiatives taught her the value of hard work and opened her eyes to the world outside her home.
A traumatic brain injury from a kite skiing accident in 2011 changed the trajectory of her life. It put her through chronic pain and depression, and she continues to live with some residuals from that event. But today, she is in a happy space, embracing her neuro-diversity.
Authoring A Book In Her Head
Currie began writing stories at a very young age, which she typed into a Commodore 64 and printed on a dot matrix printer.
Currie aced her spelling test as a kid, read the dictionary, and was blown away by the unit on poetry. Over the years, her relationship with words continued to develop, and she began to think about writing as a means to communicate her thoughts and feelings.
The 2011 brain injury affected her ability to read, write, walk, and talk. While spending 18 hours a day in bed, Miranda started to create stories in her head and challenged herself by making them rhyme.
In 2013, she was able to write a spoken word poem about her negative experiences receiving income support, which was read by her MLA in the NWT legislative assembly. Later that year, she released her debut children’s book, Anna and the Bear.
When she returned to part-time work in 2016, Miranda noticed the struggle of settler teachers to integrate Indigenous language into their teaching practice. So she partnered with the Yellowknife Catholic School Board to solve this issue by writing Sadee’s Mittens. It is a work written in English with ten Wiilideh vocabulary words that appear throughout the book.
Her Conversation As A Musician
Since she was eight years old, Miranda has played a full-size violin she found in her grandmother’s attic. Though her musical journey began early, it required persistence. So, with her grandmother’s encouragement, she persuaded her parents to pay the $50 fee every academic year to participate in group sessions at school.
She began playing the guitar and several other instruments in high school, joined choruses, participated in orchestras, and formed her first band. She travelled throughout her 20s and noticed that even though she was not able to communicate with people in their language, she could sit down and jam with people from all over the world. As a result, she performed in Uni orchestras in Switzerland and on the streets of Pusan, South Korea.
In 2015 came her first musical success when the Canadian Folk Music Awards nominated Currie for Aboriginal Singer-Songwriter of the Year for her debut album Up In the Air.
As a school culture and language teacher, she saw how kids responded to music and how it helped them learn their Indigenous languages. This encouraged her to create kid’s music with a northern Indigenous flair. The result was Bouncing in the Boreal in 2018 and Tickling the Taiga in 2022.
Exploring Storytelling Through Film-Making
Currie developed an interest in filmmaking to capture young audiences’ attention in a broader, more impactful manner. She picked up the fundamentals of the craft and made a few amateur films. But the pandemic forced her to seek mentorship to improve her craft as the restrictions forced her to switch from live performance.
Her persistence to learn the craft eventually led to her being accepted to the National Screen Institute’s IndigiDocs Program and the Adventure Filmmaking Workshop at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2019. With the assistance and mentorship of numerous different mentors, Miranda made her first ten-minute short documentary, titled Tails on Ice, and had its world premiere at the Cannes Short Film Festival in France. The same year, she founded and incorporated her production company, CuRiouS CoNNectionS.
As a filmmaker, Miranda uses her experience as an Indigenous land-based educator and wilderness guide to make outdoor adventure films that are accessible to children and families.
Changing Indigenous Narratives Through Education
Currie decided to enter the education field as an opportunity to push the boundaries of the colonial education system from within. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University, specializing in outdoor and experiential education.
In her ten years of service in both YK1 and Yellowknife Catholic Schools, Currie has used her love of the land, music, community, and education to improve learning experiences for kids as a land-based Indigenous cultural liaison. In addition, she earned degrees in geography and outdoor recreation while working as a camp counselor for many summers.
Miranda works to change Canada’s Indigenous narrative by educating one student at a time.
Miranda worked for organizations like Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School and guided numerous private firms in the Canadian north for her love of being on the land, coupled with the discovery of expeditionary learning.
Miranda Currie began conscious efforts to reclaim more of her Indigenous cultural practices in her early twenties. She knew it was essential to begin the reclamation journey to help her understand her deep and intuitive connection to nature and plan her next steps.
Currie continues her work as a writer, musician, filmmaker, and educator. To know more about her work, visit her website at https://www.mirandacurrie.ca/.
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