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Empowering Indigenous Voices

How Anna Lambe is Inspiring a New Generation of Inuit Storytellers

Anna Lambe discusses empowering Indigenous voices, environmental advocacy, and the importance of accurate representation in media.

You’re a prominent voice for Inuit culture in Canadian media. How do you see your work inspiring a new generation of Inuit actors and storytellers?

As a young Inuk, I was inspired by anyone around me who was working towards making our communities safer and healthier. Whether they worked in government, led community initiatives, worked in culture and language revitalization, or they spent much time helping and learning from elders, working with youth, creating and sharing art. Inuit worldviews see the interconnectedness of everything- the land, the animals, our kin, ourselves, and how we treat the land, the animals, our kin, and ourselves. Being cognizant of and working towards protecting the interconnectedness of everything and seeing Inuit of all different backgrounds, with different goals and different approaches but the same worldview, inspired me to approach life in the same way. I hope in the work I do, I show others that art and storytelling isn’t just what you give and gain from an audience, an art form, or a project. Impact, sharing, giving, taking, respect, connecting, and so much more is just as important as a final product, and feeds into a larger picture of community wellness.

Many Inuit communities face challenges like climate change and resource development. How can your platform as an actress be used to bring awareness to these issues?

As an actress, I have a platform and visibility that can help bring awareness of issues that impact my community to a large audience. I’m grateful to have been able to centre my culture and identity in many of the projects I do, whether they be about issues like the suicide epidemic in the North, MMIWG, the foster care system in Canada, or on a more positive note, projects that promote and showcase Indigenous joy and youth leadership. Working on projects like Warrior Up!, a docu-series that follows Indigenous youth around North America and the community initiatives they’re leading to bring change and inspire others has been one of my favorite ways to use a platform that I already have to support others. I am also a strong believer in mutual aid and supporting locally, and that we all have a role to ensure we provide our community members with the support they need. Whether one has a big or small platform, mutual aid is an important action that can bring immediate relief or support to your community members in need.

Why do you believe it is important to push Indigenous voices forward?

Indigenous voices continue to be underrepresented in the media, and misinformation and stereotyping continues to persist despite much pushback and action from Indigenous people to have accurate and meaningful representation. Indigenous stories continue to be exploited by non-Indigenous creators, creating shows, films, novels, and more that depict Indigenous people in harmful ways. Pushing Indigenous voices forward is an important way to combat that, giving the agency and sovereignty of stories to Indigenous peoples and allowing us to represent ourselves in accurate and meaningful ways. Who better to tell our stories than us?

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