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Nations at war series shows how first nations battles shaped history

Nations at War is a new documentary series coming to Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) on Wednesday nights early September. It shows how triumphs, treacheries and tragedies bound the destinies of Indigenous Peoples and newcomers together. From the Viking invasion of Newfoundland to the desperate last stand of a Metis nation fighting for recognition, these deadly battles shaped continents.

Metis producer, director, writer Jason Friesen (Health Nutz), with series creator, writer, and story producer Tim Johnson will premiere APTN's Nations at War, a 13-episode series hosted by David H. Lyle (Arrow, Arctic Air). Each half hour episode combines dramatic live action re-enactments with spectacular Visual FX and CGI; interviews with Elders, veterans, and historical experts; documentary footage; and a War Room.

The series starts with the Pacific Raiders, showing generations of northwest coast First Nations who lived in fear of the powerful Haida. From their island strongholds the Haida won slaves, wealth and glory. They were one of the strongest naval forces in the Americas, developing a dazzling golden age of art and architecture.

Series highlights: Louis Riel and rebel Metis who stunned the upstart Canadian government with a violent uprising; the Cree, facing disaster and starvation with the decline of the buffalo, would make a valiant last stand to save their people's future; and the Vikings carved out a kingdom at the point of a sword, but their dreams of a colony in Canada would meet a violent end.

Vancouver filmmaker Jason Friesen has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, first starting as an actor and in stand up comedy. He went on to create two seasons of the APTN comedy series Health Nutz, and cocreated two seasons of the children's animation series, The Adventures of Artie the Ant. His production company, Chasing Pictures, is currently developing feature dramas, factual television programming and an animated comedy series. 

Tim Johnson was born in Nova Scotia, raised across Canada, and graduated from Vancouver Film School. He got his start in the film industry in production design, while writing everything from screenplays to concert reviews. His love of bringing stories from script to screen is inspired by forgotten stories and obscure figures of our past, and the valuable lessons they can teach the modern world. 

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The first episode of Nations at War airs September 6th on APTN E and HD at 10:00 p.m. ET, APTN W at 10:00 p.m. MT and September 12th on APTN N at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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