Amplify Strenght

  • Because there is so much happening, it’s hard to move, it’s hard to move as an artist, it’s hard to move as a person, it’s hard to move as a community member because it feels like you are too close to the fire.

    Nick Sherman
  • We’re talking about what Thunder Bay would look like if Indigenous people didn’t have to worry about dying and didn’t have to worry about blatant racism in their everyday life. We have the ability to picture what our future can look like.

    Nick Sherman

Episode 6


Oji-Cree Singer-songwriter, Nick Sherman’s music has taken him across the country to various festivals and events. In songwriting, he has been inspired by his memories of timeless hymns of celebration and lamentation on his reserve, the lives of people in his community, his own upbringing, and his current life experiences raising his own family in Thunder Bay. In this episode, Nick reflects on the challenges of living in a town with a reputation steeped in anti-Indigenous racism and corruption. In relation to an example of a missing Indigenous man in the city, Nick explains, “Troubles in Thunder Bay, should trouble all Canadians. I’ve never experienced something so tragic, yet so completely disregarded. And it was really hard to watch that story disappear, like every story.”

Anishinaabe director Michelle Derosier mixes performance art and politics throughout the episode, allowing us to see Thunder Bay as never before and look into it’s possible future. Nick looks past the hopelessness of the city, and considers how the fire of adversity can strengthen you and give you hope of things to work towards and the power to make changes to your surroundings.

The Team:
  • Director: Michelle Derosier
  • Producer: Michelle St John
  • Producer: Jeremy Edwardes
  • Producer: Shane Belcourt
  • Executive Producer: Jim Compton
  • Executive Producer: R. Todd Ivey
  • Featuring: Nick Sherman
  • Featuring: Sarah Nelson
  • Featuring: Cree Stevens
  • Featuring: Mary McPherson
  • Featuring: Joshua Shebagegit
  • Featuring: Leanna Marshall
  • Featuring: Cheryl Suggashie
  • Cinematographer: Sean Stiller
  • Editor: Adam Phipps
  • Sound and score: Anthony Wallace


Web Trailer

As we watch the sun rise in Thunder Bay to the sounds of prayer, Oji-Cree songwriter Nick Sherman speaks about wanting to get past the hopelessness of this place, and consider in roots and it’s possible future.

  • crow on a branch


Watch the music video for Nick Sherman’s song Unbreakable. This music video was edited by Francis Laliberte.

  • nick sherman


Songwriter Nick Sherman is accompanied by his music producer Anthony Wallace as they walk through the songwriting and home studio recording process for Unbreakable.

  • Michelle Derosier

    Michelle is Anishinaabe from Migisi Sahgaigan First Nation in Treaty 3 Territory in Northern Ontario who uses the art of storytelling to create social change. She is a mother, grandmother, artist, activist and filmmaker who is deeply rooted in her Anishinaabek philosophies and worldviews. Michelle has always lived and practiced in the north and has been making films for nearly 15 years (documentary, drama and animation).

    She has screened internationally at Sundance, Traverse City and ImagineNATIVE, to name a few. As a filmmaker, Michelle has focused on stories of healing and power for her family, communities and ancestral land. Her first short animation, the Grandfather Drum, was selected to screen at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In 2017, Michelle completed her first dramatic feature film, Angelique’s Isle, co-directed with Montreal filmmaker Marie-Helene Cousineau. Angelique’s Isle has screened at festivals internationally and aired on CBC.

    Her recent works include directing an episode for a new APTN 13-part documentary music series called Amplify, airing in October 2020. Her most recent collaborative performance art piece Zhaabashka /Goes Through was performed to a sold-out audience at Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay. She is currently in production on a feature-length documentary examining the impacts of colonialism and opioid addictions on Indigenous women and is writing her first non-fiction book.

    michelle derosier

Unbreakable was recorded at Nick Sherman’s studio.

Nick Sherman collaborated at his studio with Anthony Wallace, a composer, sound artist and filmmaker whose musical pursuits have taken him on adventures all around the world to study sounds and music.

Song producer: Anthony Wallace
Filming locations: City of Thunder Bay