Coming Home (Wanna Icipus Kupi)

Coming Home (Wanna Icipus Kupi) reveals the impacts of the Sixties Scoop and explores Indigenous resilience through narrative sovereignty; as lived by the Little Bird series’ Indigenous creatives, cast, crew & community members. The documentary delivers a hard-hitting reality check for viewers unfamiliar with the Sixties Scoop, providing insight into the policies that were created to separate Indigenous children from their heritage, and the systems that continue to dismantle Indigenous families today. Coming Home is the feature directorial debut from Cree/Ojibway filmmaker, Erica Daniels of Peguis First Nation.

From 1951 to 1984, the Sixties Scoop was an assimilation project led by Canadian federal and provincial governments that attempted to erase Indigenous identity. More than 20,000 Indigenous children were forcefully taken from their families, and displaced into foster care systems throughout North America and abroad.

Daniels crafts a visual tapestry to evoke a profound sense of homecoming related to family, culture, traditions, values, community and connection to the land. The communities of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation are at the heart of this documentary.

Coming Home entwines profound interviews of personal recollections from Sixties Scoop survivors, accompanied by glimpses of on-set moments of the Little Bird drama series and archival footage from news sources. The layering of these elements creates a rich and emotional exploration of the devastating impacts the Sixties Scoop has had on Indigenous peoples, and the creative team’s essential work of narrative reclamation through storytelling from an Indigenous lens.

  • Erica Daniels
    Bimibatoo-Win: Where I Ran (short doc), The Seven Sacred Laws (animated web series), Gift to Give (short doc), Amplify (series episode), Run as One – The Journey of the Frontrunners (short doc), Mikinakay – Trail of the Turtle (short doc)
  • Erica Daniels
    The Seven Sacred Laws (animated web series), Amplify (series episode)
  • Kim Wheeler
    Buffy Sainte-Marie Starwalker (TV Special)
  • Michelle Van Beusekom
    Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger (doc feature); Because We Are Girls (doc feature), Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (doc feature), Birth of a Family (doc feature)
  • Ernest Webb
    Gespe'gewa'gi: The Last Land (factual series - 3 seasons); Mohawk Girls (series - 5 seasons), RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World (doc feature), Working It Out Together (series - 3 seasons)
  • Jennifer Podemski
    Little Bird (drama series), The Other Side (factual series - 6 seasons), Indspire Awards (live event - 15 seasons), Unsettled (drama series), Empire of Dirt (feature film)
  • Catherine Bainbridge
    Little Bird (drama series), Gespe'gewa'gi: The Last Land (factual series - 3 seasons), Aging Well - Suzuki Style (feature doc), RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World (feature doc), Mohawk Girls (series - 5 seasons), Working It Out Together (series - 3 seasons), Reel Injun (feature doc)
  • Linda Ludwick
    Little Bird (drama series), Rumble: the Indians Who Rocked the World (feature doc); Reel Injun (feature doc), Mohawk Girls (series - 5 seasons)
  • Tanya Brunel
    Little Bird (drama series), Mr. Soul (dramatic feature), Cool Jobs (series - 4 seasons)
  • Daniel Morin
    Aging Well Suzuki Style (feature doc), Truth & Lies (6-part series), Rise (8-part factual series), Cut-Off (factual feature)
  • Wanbdi Wakita
    Key Cast
  • Harold Blacksmith
    Key Cast
  • Chief Gordon Bluesky
    Key Cast
  • Mary Chief
    Key Cast
  • Brenda Greyeyes
    Key Cast
  • Walter Greyeyes
    Key Cast
  • Na'kuset
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Raven Sinclair
    Key Cast
  • Jennifer Podemski
    Key Cast
  • Zoe Hopkins
    Key Cast
  • Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
    Key Cast
  • Eric Schweig
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Social and Human Interest, Society & Community, Arts & Culture, Indigenous, Sixties Scoop, Narrative Sovereignty
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 28 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital UHD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:

  • Canada
    June 30, 2023
    Canadian Premiere Broadcast on Crave & APTN Lumi
  • Brokenhead Ojibway Nation
    June 27, 2023
    Community Screening (private event)
  • Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
    July 12, 2023
    Community Screening (private event)
  • Winnipeg
    June 29, 2023
    Community screening (private event)
Distribution Information
  • Fremantle
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
  • Rezolution Pictures Inc.
    Country: Canada
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Erica Daniels

Award-winning Cree/Ojibway filmmaker, Erica Daniels is a documentary director, producer, entrepreneur and a proud mother of three from Peguis First Nation. Based in Winnipeg, Erica’s media company, Kejic Productions (est. 2017), emerged from her passion to share the stories of her community through an Indigenous lens. She values heart-centered stories that amplify Indigenous voices, while focusing upon healing, cultural revitalization, knowledge preservation, education and social change.

Erica’s journey began in JUST TV, a multimedia program for at-risk youth in Winnipeg’s inner city. Through this program, she was able to better her life and gain extensive skills in the media industry. In turn, Erica continues to pursue her commitment of uplifting Indigenous youth by helping them reclaim their cultural identity. Erica currently runs a cultural program at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre and is the co-creator and facilitator of Spirit of the Story, a film training program for Indigenous youth.

A Canadian Screen Award nominee, Erica’s short film, Run As One, won 2 Golden Sheaf Awards at the Yorkton Film Festival. Coming Home (Wanna Icipus Kupi) is her directorial debut for a feature, the documentary reveals the impacts of the Sixties Scoop, and explores Indigenous resilience through narrative sovereignty.

Inspired by the resilience of her community and the beauty of her culture, Erica shares her gift of storytelling through filmmaking. She embraces the important role of sharing Indigenous history, and values the preservation of cultural teachings shared by Elders in her community, in hopes to reach and inspire future generations.

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Director Statement

Director’s Notes:
As Indigenous storytellers, we carry the responsibilities to share our truth, our culture, and our history, with hopes to impact and educate future generations. While directing Coming Home (Wanna Icipus Kupi), it was an honour to speak with an array of strong and resilient members from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, as well as the inspiring Indigenous creators, cast and crew of the Little Bird series.

As someone who only briefly heard about the Sixties Scoop growing up, it was shocking to learn of the many stories of those who were personally affected by the Sixties Scoop, and the realization of how this Canadian history has been hidden from the world for decades. When I joined the Coming Home team, my goal for the film was to illuminate the truth for this history that has long been silenced, while providing a platform for survivors to share their stories; for them to feel heard and hopefully further heal from sharing their journey.

We are living in a vital point in history, witnessing this powerful movement of Indigenous people reclaiming their stories and narrative sovereignty. I also wanted to dive into these themes through highlighting the impactful work from the Little Bird creators, showcasing their Indigenous talent. Little Bird’s story reflects many of our families and communities, as it shares the resilience of our people and those impacted by the ongoing Child Welfare systems.

Personally, I have friends and family who survived the Sixties Scoop and Residential Schools, and today my family continues to be directly affected by the current child welfare system. Growing up, my culture and identity was not shared with me due to the impacts of colonization nor was it ever portrayed to me in a positive way through the media, which led me to embark on a solo journey of reconnecting to culture, to community and to spirit. As an Indigenous storyteller, I use the tools and gifts I was given to teach all people about our stories, history, and culture. Narrative sovereignty is at the core of the work that I pursue. Having the ability to tell our own stories from an Indigenous lens to encourage collective healing.

Visual Aesthetic:
Shooting in communities was essential to establish Coming Home’s core themes of land, family, and (re)connection. Images of the land are present to illustrate our connection to the land and how “coming home” is also coming home to oneself, to the land and to Mother Earth. While archival elements (including period AIM advertisements, interviews and news footage), establishes the Sixties Scoop realities and the dominant cultural mindset that allowed these policies. Interwoven with moments from the Little Bird set, and deeply personal interviews — Coming Home unfolds the connections between past and present; lived experiences and story. Layered with music composed by Indigenous musician, Wyler Wolf and songs by Jason Burnstick.

I hope people will have a better understanding of the Sixties Scoop, the impacts, and the current child welfare system, and how these systems continue to displace and hurt our children and Indigenous families today. I want audiences to gain a deeper understanding of the work that Indigenous creators have been tirelessly undertaking to create spaces for Indigenous Sovereignty. I hope Indigenous people will be inspired and feel empowered to join this movement of narrative sovereignty. I hope our non-Indigenous brothers and sisters will take this opportunity to learn, educate, and open more space for Indigenous creatives by having a better understanding of the importance of our stories being shared by our people, for our people.

Erica Daniels