Survey says! Moose Factory family competes on popular game show

Visibility for Indigenous families on Canadian TV is about to get a boost.

The Wabano family from Moose Factory will be on Canada’s version of Family Feud on Dec. 12.

Scott and his mother, Virginia, were in Timmins for the Omushkego Youth Treaty Conference recently, where Scott spoke to the attendees.

“It’s like a family reunion,” said Scott on arrival at the event.

That love of fun is part of why they embraced the opportunity to be on the game show.

"I was very happy that we had the opportunity to go and enjoy fun," said Virginia about being a part of the show. "I'd like to see more Indigenous people experience what we did."

Family is the most important thing to Scott and Virginia, and the opportunity to have fun together made the decision to go on Family Feud an easy one.

Scott was contacted by the production team to audition, and the family went through several auditions and interviews before they got a filming date.

“We would always watch Family Feud and have our own little competitions when we watched the show,” said Virginia. "So when Scott brought it up, right away we said go for it!"

The opportunity for an Indigenous family from Moose Factory to be on a national game show, show their humour and have some fun, was not lost on them.

Virginia, her daughter Vicki and her son Rick’s girlfriend Maroline wore ribbon skirts for their appearance. That was very important for Virginia.

“My mom was very adamant on wanting to wear a ribbon skirt for the show to show our pride as Cree people, and showing that we can take up space in our ceremonial wear," said Scott.

"Also to show that Indigenous people can be in spaces that we don't normally see, like game shows, like the fashion industry," Virginia added. "We want to show that we are strong, we are still resilient, and we're able to show our culture, our traditions, our values in spaces like the Family Feud."

Chelsea Blackned of Moose Cree First Nation designed the skirts.

She's a colleague of Scott’s, who is a fashion designer and stylist himself, having worked with Sephora Canada, Lululemon and other brands, as well as his own fashion brand, WABANO.

He also designed the HAMPTON x WABANO jacket with fellow Indigenous designer Lesley Hampton.

They hope their appearance on Family Feud inspires other families.

"We do a lot of things together as a family, and it's important to showcase that as well," said Virginia. "Keeping family together is very helpful in all aspects of life."

Their sense of family is extensive, with Scott noting how his mom has helped others over the years.

“We've taken a lot of the children's friends under our family's wing, and they've been with us a long time now,” said Virginia.

The reaction online since they announced they’d be on the show has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Once it was on social media, I was blown away,” said Virginia.

"It just goes to show that Indigenous representation is needed, it's wanted and it's important to show other families that they can do everything, and the possibilities are endless," Scott added.

Scott, Virginia, Vicki, Rick and Maroline will appear on Family Feud Canada will air on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBC and CBC Gem.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com