Virginia Barter Métis Filmmaker & Television Producer



Urban Aboriginal was produced for the 2011-12 season on Rogers TV Toronto 10/63.  See episode overviews below.

Virginia Barter, Community Producer & Host

About the show . . .

URBAN ABORIGINAL  is a weekly magazine series highlighting the rich and culturally diverse contributions that Aboriginal people bring to life in the City of Toronto.

We mix contemporary with traditional to explore how the city has shaped the lives and creative energies of Aboriginal people today. We’ll bring you fascinating profiles of First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, musicians, filmmakers, etc., as well as individuals from a variety of walks of life and indigenous backgrounds. We’ll take you behind-the-scenes of the agencies and organizations that serve the Aboriginal community in Toronto and celebrate the vibrant mix of Aboriginal talent and cultural events happening throughout the City. Learn how Toronto’s unique historic Aboriginal past is still meaningful and alive today.

If you’re looking to connect with your Aboriginal roots, or you just want to learn more about Aboriginal culture, this is the show for you.

“Urban Aboriginal”  was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award at the Yorkton Film Festival, May 24-27, 2012.

Series information: Season One ran 9 episodes on Rogers TV Toronto – Channel 10/63 from October to December 2011 and repeated January and February 2012.   It also repeated again for a summer re-run throughout July and August 2012.


Viewer comments: 

  1. The greater community of Toronto needs more shows like this, providing a positive cultural window into our people’s lives, traditions and artistic community. I personally am telling all my friends to watch!
    Chi Miigwetch,
    Andre Morriseau
  2. This is a refreshing, professionally produced take on the active Aboriginal community in Toronto. It was amazing how so much could be packed into one half hour show. Fun and informative! Keep it coming!
  3. From one Urban Ab(original) I am very excited to see such an honoring of those Aboriginals that live within the confines of our concrete forests in a much needed website. I am looking forward to viewing and meeting fellow concrete forest dwellers. Ahkamiyimotan mena Sakewetan. (May we continue to be determined in our Coming Out and into the World). Joseph

View story segment samples: 

This segment story is about the events held by the Metis Nation of Ontario each year to commemorate  Louis Riel Day in Toronto.  Learn about the history behind the Metis struggle for recognition. From the tradgic events of  1885 to today, the culture is strong and vibrant once again.

URBAN ABORIGINAL - Louis Riel Day Toronto 2011 Part 1

URBAN ABORIGINAL – Louis Riel Day Toronto 2011 Part 1

“This video clip is Part One of a Louis Riel Day story segment that was featured in Ep. 8 of URBAN ABORIGINAL.


Louis Riel Day Toronto Part 2 - URBAN ABORIGINAL

Louis Riel Day Toronto Part 2 – URBAN ABORIGINAL

“Continuing from Part 1 on Louis Riel Day in Toronto, this segment includes interviews with Métis rights lawyer and Riel family descendant, Jean Teillet. Also Giller Prize winning author, Joseph Boyden talks about his new book “Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.” Footage courtesy of Virginia Barter and Rogers TV Toronto. Copyright Rogers Communications 2011.”

Allen Legacy was one of the editors on the show.  We are both Trebas graduates. Some of the URBAN ABORIGINAL sample segments that he edited can be viewed below.  

Episode Overviews:

(dates show first date of airing in 2011)

Episode #1, Oct 10th, 2011

Watch entire episode:

– Premiere, includes stories on:

– ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival;

– The Metis Fiddler Quartet;

– The Humber River Historic Park (Lisette Mallet);

– Aboriginal History Month celebrations at Yonge – Dundas Square (Larry Frost);

– Chief Bryan LaForme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

Episode #2 (week of Oct 17th, 2011) features:

– Crystal Shawanda, country singer

– Museum of Inuit Art – Harbourfront

– Christian Laveau – Cirque du Soleil “Totem”

– “Our Story” – Canadian Aboriginal Youth Art & Writing Challenge (Allen Legacy editor)  URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Art Gallery Student Competition

– Carolyn King – Mississaugas of the New Credit

Episode #3 (week of Oct. 24th, 2011) features:

– Keriwa Cafe

– Native Earth Performing Arts – Tara Beagan (Allen Legacy editor)  URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Native Earth Performing Arts

– The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – Mae Maracle

– The Royal Ontario Museum – First Peoples Gallery

– 7 Firez – Hip Hop group

( Episode 1 repeat – week of Oct. 31st, 2011)

 Episode # 4 – week of Nov. 7th, 2011 features:  

– Red Sky – contemporary dance company

– Bata Shoe Museum – Native North American footwear (Allen Legacy editor) URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Bata Gallery

– Indigenous Fashion – Charm Logan

– Robert Houle – “Paris/Ojibwa”

– Traditional Awareness Gathering – at NCCT

Episode # 5 – week of Nov. 14, 2011 features

– Shane Belcourt – filmmaker (Allen Legacy editor)   URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Shane Belcourt segment

– Aztec Dancers (Allen Legacy editor) URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Aztec Dancer Group

– Metis Rendezvous

– Etienne Brule – Daniele Caloz

– Native Child and Family Services – Kenn Richard (Allen Legacy editor) URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-First Nation Green Space

(Episode 2 repeated week of Nov. 21st.)

Episode # 6 – week of Nov. 28, 2011 features

– FOOL Festival – Dan Yashinsky & Louis Bird storyteller

-Toronto Zoo – Kim Wheatley, Turtle Teachings

– Roof Top Garden – Native Child & Family Services

– ANDPVA – Wanda Nanibush

Episode #7, week of Dec 5th, 2011

– Jules Koostachin – Cree filmmaker takes on on her journey to reclaim language

– George Lepine –  Aboriginal Marshal arts program

– Maya exhibition at the ROM

-First Nations House at U of T – (Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo) (Allen Legacy editor)  URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-First Nation House Segment

Episode #8 week of December 12th, 2011

– Ancestral Teachings: Contemporary Perspectives (Vanessa Dion-Fletcher/ Cheryl L’Hirondelle) (Allen Legacy editor) URBAN ABORIGINAL TV SERIES-Teachings segment

– Thunderbird Centre – Very Beautiful Things (Jason Jenkins, Naomi Smith)

– Louis Riel Day Part 1 – Queen’s Park events  (Gary Lipinski  / Ginny Gonneau)

– Louis Riel Day – Part 2  Law Society of Upper Canada – (Joseph Boyden / Jean Teillet)

Episode #9, week of December 19th, 2011  URBAN ABORIGINAL Episode 9  (Watch the FULL episode.)

– Michelle Latimer, filmmaker

– Boreal Forest Initiatives – Valerie Courtois, and First Nations elders (Grand Chief Stan Loutitt, John Cutfeet – KI)

– 7th Generation Image Makers – ( Amanda Strong and Maria Hupfield)

– Olive Knight – Australian aboriginal singer/elder joins Hugh Jackman show in Toronto

– Circle of Light – Aboriginal Education Conference



If you like the show, let us know on the viewer response page. It’s important so we can keep it going!


If you haven’t already, please visit the Rogers Urban Aboriginal webpage and click on “Viewer Response” tab or log in to leave on comment. This will help to determine if the show continues another season – even with another broadcaster.

Many thanks for your support!


Contact: Virginia Barter

Community Producer & Host

“Urban Aboriginal” – Rogers TV Toronto

Ph: 416-312-9457