1. Media Space

  2. Press Releases

ᐋᐧᐸᓇᒐᐦᑯᐢᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ Chehala Leonard named Producer with the NFB North West Studio in Edmonton.


(Chehala Leonard. Photo by William Lau.)

August 4, 2021 – 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

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the foremost creative centres in the world. As a public producer and distributor of Canadian content, a talent incubator and a lever for Canada’s creative sector, the NFB produces nearly one hundred titles every year—from socially engaged documentaries and auteur animation to groundbreaking interactive works and participatory experiences. It was among the first cultural organizations to make clear commitments to gender parity; to launch an action plan with the goal of supporting Indigenous perspectives; and to establish concrete actions and targets that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to serving as a reference point around the world for digitization and preservation practices, the NFB ensures the long-term conservation of its works as part of the audiovisual heritage of all Canadians.