Amplify Nature

  • Our languages and our world - views are the antidote to the woes of the world.

    Cheryl L'Hirondelle
  • The Honourable Harvest shines a light on how we might find a way back to an honourable relationship with the land

    Robin Wall Kimmere

Episode 1


Multidisciplinary media artist, performer, and award winning musician Cheryl L’Hirondelle has been inspired by many things over her lengthy career but upon reading Potowatomi plant ecologist, writer and Professor Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass, Cheryl has re-evaluated her relationship to the world around her.

Walking through her neighbourhood, listening to the birds, listening to the sounds, spending time with the plant life around her, Cheryl draws on their natural songs to create a beautiful tribute to Mother Earth — gchi-miigwech maskihkiya.

In this episode Cheryl calls upon her friend, producer David Travers-Smith and long time friends, Monique Mojica, Shandra Spears Bombay, Rose Stella and Michelle St. John from Hidden River Singers, to record this beautiful tribute to Braiding Sweetgrass.

The Team:
  • Director: Shane Belcourt
  • Producer: Michelle St John
  • Producer: Jeremy Edwardes
  • Producer: Shane Belcourt
  • Executive Producer: Jim Compton
  • Executive Producer: R. Todd Ivey
  • Featuring: Cherryl L'Hirondelle
  • Featuring: Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Cinematographer: Sean Stiller
  • Editor: Shane Belcourt
  • Sound and score: Anthony Wallace


  • cherryl

Episode trailer

Potawatomi Author, Robin Wall Kimmerer reads from her acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass. In this section she asks us to consider two world-views, one that sees the living world as something to overcome, and one that sees it as a place of relationships and gratitude.

  • face with paint

Gchi-miigwech Maskihkiya

Watch the music video for Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s song gchi-miigwech maskihkiya, which features art work projects by acclaimed Métis artist Christi Belcourt. This music video was edited by Francis Laliberte.

  • field growing lettuce


Songwriter Cheryl L’Hirondelle is accompanied by her music producer David Travers-Smith as they walk through the songwriting and recording process for gchi-miigwech maskihkiya.


    Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed) is an award-winning singer-songwriter and an interdisciplinary artist. Her work investigates and articulates the dynamism of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place incorporating audio, video and music with old + new technology to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion’. As a songwriter, L’Hirondelle’s focus is on both sharing nêhiyawêwin (Cree language) and Indigenous song-forms and personal narrative songwriting as methodologies toward survivance.

    In 2002, her first attempt in self-producing (and as one half of) the singing/songwriting duo Nikamok was recognized with a nomination from the Prairie Music Awards (now the WCMAs). L’Hirondelle’s previous musical efforts have also garnered her critical acclaim with two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards 2006 and 2007 for her contributions to Vancouver-based Aboriginal Women’s Ensemble M’Girl, and she proudly contributed backing vocals to Buffy Sainte Marie’s award-winning album: Power in the Blood (2015). She is the recipient of the 2005 and 2006 imagineNATIVE new media award and received Honorable Mention from the 2009 Webby Awards in the category.

    Cheryl is an original existing member of the OCAD University Indigenous Education Council in Toronto – where she previously taught as a sessional in their Integrated Media Department (2008-2012) and graduated from their Inclusive Design Master’s program in 2015. Her Master’s project documented her ongoing project Why the Caged Bird Sings, writing songs with inmates and detained youth in federal prisons, provincial correction centres and municipal youth detention centres. She is currently a PhD candidate at SMARTlab/UCD, in Ireland and is the recipient of an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Award with world music group Kíla Records. She also owns and operates a small niche Indigenous music publishing company, Miyoh Music.

    cherryl l'hirondelle close up

    Shane Belcourt is a two-time CSA-nominated Director, with award-winning narrative and documentary works in both film and TV. His debut feature film TKARONTO, had a theatrical release, was sold to SuperChannel and Air Canada, and was showcased in both the TIFF Indigenous Cinema Retrospective and the UCLA Film & Television Archive traveling exhibition, “Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema”. Shane also directed CHANIE WENJACK which Walrus Magazine noted as “the Heritage Minute Canada needs to see”. His most recent feature film, RED ROVER, premiered at the Whistler Film Festival, opened the Canadian Film Festival, and was released in March 2020 to glowing reviews.

    On the documentary side of things, Shane directed KAHA:WI, which features dancer and choreographer Santee Smith. It premiered at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, aired on APTN and CBC Docs, and won a CSC award for Best Cinematography in 2016, along with a CSA Best Director nomination. Shane co-directed (with Lisa Jackson) the CBC one-hour INDICTMENT: THE CRIMES OF SHELLY CHARTIER which won Best Doc at imagineNATIVE. And most recently, Shane is in post-production on a new 13-part music documentary series, AMPLIFY, which he created and will air on APTN in the Fall of 2020. And was a Consulting Producer (writing room story editor) on CBC”s new drama seres, THE TRICKSTER, set to air Fall 2020.

    Currently Shane is in development to direct a feature documentary, BEAUTIFUL SCARS, for TVO and Sky Network on internationally acclaimed songwriter Tom Wilson, and a feature narrative based around a family tale entitled DUMBBELL, which received development funding from Telefilm Canada.

    Shane is an alumna of the TIFF Talent Lab and NSI’s Totally Television programs, and a member of the DGC.

    shane belcourt

Our Mother's Voice was recorded at Found Sound.

Song producer: David Travers Smith
Filming locations: City of Toronto, Thru The RedDoor - Six Nations.