A reGEN media original film:

Coming Home For The Children

"We can heal ourselves and our families in three generations if we keep it a sacred priority."

~ Wenecwtsin, Wayne Christian

An Indigenous adult-adoptee returns to her rural home community after building an unlikely friendship with a seven-term Chief, brought together by Spirit to explore a forty-year journey of hope, healing, forgiveness, and coming home to our whole selves for the children now and seven generations into the future.

Coming Home For the Children is a short documentary profiling a seven-term former First Nations Chief, Wayne Christian, and hosted by adult-adoptee and foster care survivor, Charlene SanJenko.

Filmed in the scenic valley of the Splatsin Nation, the southernmost tribe of the Secwepemc Nation in the interior of British Columbia, the film travels back and forth between two parallels: the reclaiming of the meaning of “home” for both Charlene and Chief Wayne as they meet for the first time in the Splatsin Nation; and our responsibility - as adults and parents - to intergenerational healing for the children. This was modeled by parents, grandparents, and a young Chief back in 1980 with the Indian Child Caravan led by Chief Wayne himself. The Caravan marched across British Columbia in a fight for Indigenous peoples’ rights over the jurisdiction of their children, at which time Charlene was 11 years old and unaware of Chief Wayne’s advocacy for the very same rights she had lost as a child in foster care.

As Charlene continues on her journey of reclaiming her Indigenous identity, and as Chief Wayne recounts the significant moments in his lifetime of leadership commitment for the children, the two meet for the first time and begin an unlikely friendship, which grows into a joint body of work ready to be shared with others to help our Nation heal..

We are invited to join their exploration of sacred spaces in both the Splatsin Nation and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation, experiencing the importance of intergenerational healing, touching the pain, and what it truly means to come home to our whole selves.

Testimonials:

"This movie is a compelling story of finding roots. It shows how important it is to be part of a “family” … whether that is immediate family, a cultural family, or simply having a relationship with nature and being part of that world family. An adopted child, now an adult, shares a heart warming journey to find her “family” where she belongs in her First Nations culture. The photography is wonderful. It’s a moving tale of searching for and finding an identity in all of the “families” mentioned above."

Peggy W.

"I have been very moved watching your journey over the last year. This film really brought home to me, the importance of not just my family but how important it is to know our own history. Coming from Calgary Alberta, I have always felt a strong pull & interest in learning about First Nations, the many tribes, rituals & the history. I enjoyed the scenery & the serenity of this film & the stories that were shared. I’m so honoured to have a connection with you & your family."

Kerri L.

"Over the past 20 years, I have watched Charlene navigate her search for herself with courage and resilience. I was excited to view the screening of Coming Home - For the Children at the opening night of the 2023 Sechelt ARTS Festival.
 
The film confirmed my admiration of Charlene AND it provoked me to think of my own journey and the importance of strengthening my focus to "come home".  Imagine if each of us had the courage to dig deep and ask questions, just where the world might be - a massive shift towards World Peace, methinks.
 
I highly recommend seeing "Coming Home - For the Children" and it's overarching message of hope."
 
Sandy M.
"To tell you that this film is anything less than extraordinary would be an understatement. Once again, we are educated about the gross mishandling of the indigenous peoples, in this case through the story of Charlene’s adoption outside of her reservation during a time they called the Sixties Scoop.
 
Despite not knowing her cultural background her entire life, it is evident that the essence of who she always has been on a deeper level could never be stolen. Her reconnection to that place inside and outside is nothing short of remarkable and the reason why we should all do our part to heal the traumas so we can continue to grow, learn and support each other on this journey of life. Welcome home, beloved Charlene."
 
 Dawna J.

We want to hear about your experience of the film! Leave us a review here. Your review will not be published without permission.

Meet the Team

Charlene-1

Charlene SanJenko

DIRECTOR | IMPACT PRODUCER | FILM PARTICIPANT

In 1969, Charlene was born in the Splatsin Band of the Secwépemc Nation, but was raised as an adopted child in a non-Indigenous home. Now 50 years later, she is on a journey to learn and reclaim her heritage, her lost childhood, and bring truth to the young Indigenous girl she never got the chance to be.

Intertwined with Chief Wayne Christian as one of the main protagonists of the film itself, Charlene brings experience in regenerative media as an impact producer to her first feature film. She hopes to bring the momentum of this documentary to other communities as part of an intentional media franchise, including a digital arts community engagement exhibition, a healing workshop series (in-person or online), and a future book written jointly by Chief Wayne and herself.

Wenecwtsin

FILM PARTICIPANT | FORMER SEVEN-TERM KÚKPI7

Wayne M. Christian is of Secwepemc ancestry. His Indian name, Wenecwtsin, from his great grandfather, means Big Voice that Speaks the Truth. Chief Wayne was elected to Council at the age of 23 and elected as Chief at 25, where he served for over 40 years in leadership.

As a child, Chief Wayne was taken from his home as a child by provincial government representatives and placed into foster care -  what is now known as the “Sixties Scoop” in Canadian history. As an adult, he led two major initiatives in fighting for Indigenous rights: the Indian Child Caravan 1980 and the Constitution Express 1980 and 1981 – fighting for recognition of Indigenous laws and jurisdictions for lands, resources, and people. This is a fight he has dedicated himself to for decades - a fight that we are experiencing a full-circle moment of impact at this time.

Chief-Wayne-1
Willow-1

Willow Smith

CO-PRODUCER | AUDIO & PODCAST LEAD

Willow is a mixed-race Millennial whose experience in audio and video began as a hobby. She grew up in BC and now lives on the Sunshine Coast, home of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation. Now a voice actor, the co-host of her own podcast - “Loving Goliath” - and audio lead for reGEN media, she’s taken her hobby to a whole new level under the umbrella of reGEN and The Goliath Foundation.

She brings audio expertise, an eye for detail, and a producer's hat in the production of Coming Home For the Children, including producing an accompanying podcast to the film, “Coming Home: In Conversation with Kukpi7 Wayne Christian”, which features additional audio footage from both Charlene and Chief Wayne to add to the depth of this film.

Madeline Archibald

CO-DIRECTOR | CINEMATOGRAPHER | EDITOR

Madeline is a Gen-Z digital designer, artist & filmmaker who has mastered her 10,000 hours of skills in video production - including editing, photography, composition, sound design, and publication - before the age of 25. She grew up in Golden, BC (traditional land of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Nations, as well as the home of the Columbia River Métis Nation) in a mountaintown community full of arts and adventures, and brings a passion to tell stories the way they deserve to be told to the creation of this film.

Madeline has brought an aptitude with a camera and a passionate editing experience to translate the story of Charlene and Chief Wayne into film format.

Maddy-1

We are grateful to these creatives for their contributions and support in the production of Coming Home For the Children: 

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman

Original music & scoring

Ecko Aleck

Original music & scoring

Aerial Sunday-Cardinal

Original music & scoring

Terran Tasci

Additional cinematography

Kelly Veltri

Additional cinematography

Podcast & Behind the Scenes

Coming Home: In Conversation

A reGEN original limited series featuring former Splatsin Kukpi7 Wayne Christian, and hosted by 60's scoop survivor Charlene SanJenko. Coming Home shares Indigenous wisdom and teachings to paint the picture of a brighter future for generations yet to come, to share a story of cultural strength and resilience, and to help bring this chapter of our history to a close and turn to a newer, brighter page together.

reGEN media will pitch a Coming Home limited series to streaming partners in 2024/2025, stories of hope, healing, and humour that celebrate Coming Home of adult adoptees and former kids-in-care who are returning, connecting, and contributing to community across Turtle Island.

Behind the scenes: photos & clips

Join our crew behind the camera and experience the making of Coming Home For the Children: a process over a year-long in the making! Featuring exclusive photos, videos, and tours of critical storytelling moments - updated in real-time as the story continues to unfold. Plus - add your own thoughts and reflections to our interactive space!

Relive the For The Children live exhibit

title-slide

As featured in the full-length documentary, Charlene and Chief Wayne hosted a live event at the Gibsons Public Market as a tribute to National Day of Truth & Reconciliation on September 29th, 2022. You can rewatch the livestream and re-experience this event as part of the collective Coming Home experience.

You can bring a live screening of Coming Home For the Children to your community, including an intimate talk-back session with Charlene and Chief Wayne, an interactive multimedia arts exhibit, and an opportunity to learn more and participate in a new healing community initiative: Our Nation Heals.

Extras & Features:

Read: "Ask water to help you cope with anger"

By Odette Auger, Buffalo Spirit Reporter. November 10, 2023

Read the full article here

Screenings

"Splatsin film spotlighting intergenerational healing premiering in Vernon"

Vernon Morning Star, October 17, 2023

Read the full article here

"New film documents Indigenous woman's journey to reconnect with her culture, community"

Coast Reporter, September 30, 2023

Read the full article here

Please contact charlene@regenimpactmedia.com to inquire about hosting your own screening.

Impact

Coming Home For the Children is part of an intentional media franchise, including a digital arts community engagement exhibition, a healing workshop series (in-person or online), a limited podcast series, and a future book written jointly by Chief Wayne and Charlene SanJenko.

Our vision is to inspire other Indigenous Elders and Native Chiefs across Turtle Island and around the globe to share and document their stories and provide a sustainable way to do so.

We will put a call out to other Indigenous adult-adoptees, especially those taken from Splatsin from 1960 to 1980, and invite them to consider their own Coming Home journey.

We will continue to advocate for healing as our top priority. As we heal at our roots, the problems we face today won't follow us into tomorrow. If we are an awake, aware, and able adult in this generation, our only job is to heal.

The film is a multi-sensory exploration of conversation, ceremony, cultural practices, and reciprocal care dedicated to inspiring hope and prioritizing healing - one person, one family, and one community at a time.

At our very core, as humans, we can feel how far we are currently from our center. If we’re honest with ourselves and turn down the distractions, I think we can agree that we're obviously off-kilter. And if we can tune into our heart, our soul, our breath, or whatever your word is, at our center, there is something that we've forgotten. I'm not going to say lost. I'm purposely saying that we've forgotten. We've gone off-track.

What pulls me to impact media and this film so powerfully is that ultimately, I'm an optimist. Ultimately, I'm a visionary, and I know it's in there for most people. I see it. With enough little clues, enough little hits, enough little reminders, enough little insights, I believe, as a society, we can get back on track. We can come home. Remembering precedes reconciliation."

~ Charlene SanJenko

To find out how you can become involved in the impact of this film, contact charlene@regenimpactmedia.com

Support the Film's Impact

Coming Home - support the film

What are you looking for?
Name
Scroll To Top

Join us on the ground floor of the reGEN story hub.

This Impact Partnership is well-matched to a corporate organization or brand seeking to demonstrate a commitment in the following areas:

  • Inclusive Innovation
  • Regenerating Hope
  • Societal Wellbeing
  • Sustainability
  • Global Health

Clarify your role ‘beyond business’ with this progressive brand legacy building opportunity ignited by a fresh start facilitated Impact Visioning Circle.

Explore first-in-market opportunities that proactively demonstrate your commitment to solutions-finding and proactive narrative-shifting media with vision.

Connect with consumers and listen to understand their priorities, choices, and behaviors and how that relates back to future marketing decisions and ad-buy spends.

Be well-represented in spaces where current and future talented individuals frequent.

Recognize and amplify leaders and champions on your team.

Primary indices used to measure impact include:

  • UN SDG Goals
  • Happy Planet Index
  • DEI 50-30 Challenge