Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Executive Producer David Christensen announced today that Chehala Leonard has been named Producer at the NFB’s North West Studio, where she will be based out of the studio’s Edmonton office.

Chehala is a member of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, located near Grande Cache, Alberta, and is the founder of ᐊᐢᑭᕀ Askîy Media Inc., an Indigenous-owned production company that focuses on sharing land-based stories through film and media.

She has worked as a producer on the 13-part Canadian Rockies Series that’s airing on WILD TV and has worked on co-productions that involved pre-development, development and production with APTN. This includes producing the pilot When Spirit Comes Through in 2018 and being the executive producer for the documentary Living a Legacy, airing on APTN in 2021.

Chehala’s on-screen work includes Road Scholars, filmed in the Arctic for APTN in 2005, and The Link. She worked as a journalist for IndigiNews, and her reporting has been republished by APTN National News, The Discourse, Global News, the Toronto Star, Yahoo News and more. Alongside her colleagues she was a finalist for the 2020 Webster Awards for Best Community Reporting.

Chehala graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies from the University of Alberta, where she also spent one year studying abroad at the University of Queensland in Australia. During her studies, she produced several short films, including Sharing Languages. She also completed a Certificate in Adventure Film from Serac Adventure Film School in Colorado.

“We’re so pleased that Chehala is joining the NFB, because she brings invaluable experience and insight to the producing work that we’re doing—which also reflects the NFB’s ongoing commitments to include diverse voices and perspectives. She will work with a broad range of creators, and I know that Chehala is going to be positively engaged with all of them. She’ll be kept busy as a public producer, where I know she will flourish,” said David Christensen.

– 30 –

Phonetic pronunciations



Askîy Media Inc

ASH-keey Media Inc.

Aseniwuche Winewak

a-SEN-uh-WUH-chee win-A-wak

Stay Connected

Online Screening Room:

NFB Facebook | NFB Twitter | NFB Instagram | NFB Blog | NFB YouTube | NFB Vimeo

Curator’s perspective | Director’s notes

About the NFB

Lily Robert

Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB

C.: 514-296-8261