Tania Koenig-Gauchier & Shirley McLean
Co-founders, Wapanatahk Media
When Tania Koenig-Gauchier and Shirley McLean co-founded Wapanatahk Media, their goal was to bring authentic Indigenous stories to the mainstream, while building opportunities in the entertainment industry for Indigenous creators. Tania is Métis (Cree), while Shirley is of Tlingit and Tagish descent and a member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Yukon — and as Indigenous producers with over twenty years experience in the industry, they’re well aware of the need for Indigenous Peoples to reclaim how they are depicted, by increasing representation both on-screen and off.
Tania and Shirley first began working on Wapanatahk Media in fall 2020, and in February 2021, Wapanatahk officially launched a partnership with Great Pacific Media, a global leader in unscripted television. By the end of 2021, they had wrapped production on their first series, Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet — a documentary series following a Métis veterinarian from rural Alberta, which employed Indigenous production staff and provided apprenticeship opportunities to Indigenous students — and had announced a development deal with Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, the first Two-Spirit Indigenous couple to win The Amazing Race Canada.