My dad, Isidore Deranger and older brother, Fred Deranger
I started Empathic Witness podcast in October 2020. It has over a thousand subscribers. I admit this is minor, but it is steadily building, and listeners are returning to hear new episodes. By the end of 2022, more amazing Indigenous peoples from across Canada whose words inspire everyday Canadians can be heard on this podcast.
My guests include professors, Chiefs, a clinical psychologist, Indigenous people in the health and wellness domain, lawyers, cultural Indigenous language keepers, and cultural knowledge keepers.
When the Honourable Mary Simon was appointed the first Indigenous Governor General in Canada’s history last year, the Honorable Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said we need people to build bridges. I agree, it is important to build bridges between Indigenous peoples and the rest of Canada. Each of us has a part in this, no matter how big or small.
The Empathetic Witness Podcast is doing its part in building bridges during this historic time of Truth and Reconciliation. We are finding a way to build communication bridges in our everyday dialogue so we can give dignity and respect to all people. Let’s walk together and learn how to address one another respectfully.
As an Indigenous woman and a survivor of the Holy Angels’ Residential School in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, it gives me immense pride to invite Indigenous people across Canada as my guests. My podcast is not political; it is educational and healing.
The format is designed as an intimate salon conversation into which you are invited to eavesdrop. Episodes are an hour in length. in 2023 we will be introducing shorter podcasts, 15 to 20 minutes, as teasers for the longer one-hour version. I enjoy getting my guests to talking about their lives, their hopes, sometimes their setbacks but mostly their achievements.
The Empathetic Witness Podcast is a part of a charitable foundation I founded during the pandemic, Seventh Generation Indigenous Foundation and Training (GIFT) (seventhgift.ca) The podcast’s goal is to create a national conversation on Indigenous topics, highlight Indigenous peoples who are role models and have made a difference to Indigenous Peoples and Canadian citizens, and to assist in the healing from addiction, colonization, and trauma. The podcast format is based on compassionate inquiry. Compassionate inquiry is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician who specializes in trauma and addictions and who is an advisor to GIFT Foundation.
Empathetic Witness Podcast is found at Empathetic Witness (google.com)