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Nelson Bird bids farewell to CTV Regina after 26 years


After 26 years with CTV Regina, Nelson Bird is ready for a new challenge.

Bird started as a reporter in 1998. That same year, he was named host of Indigenous Circle, a half hour show, focused on First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture, airing Sunday nights, across Saskatchewan.

Carl Worth was News Director at CTV Regina from 1999 to 2015. He remembers Bird as an accomplished storyteller and steady presence in the newsroom.

"To me, he was just solid. And you know, in a business, where there's lots of egos and lots of change, that impacts people in different ways, he was always sort of a rock," Worth said.

Under Bird’s direction and with the help of a dedicated team, Indigenous Circle became a beloved staple for viewers. The team travelled the world sharing stories in places like New Mexico, Belgium, Holland, and Fiji.

Worth recalled Bird’s willingness to pursue international stories highlighted by a 30 minute feature filmed in Vanuavatu, an island east of Fiji. “It was to show the experience of the Indigenous people in the South Pacific and marry it with the experience of Indigenous people here,” Worth explained.

“He went to this place on his own. This was clearly a two person shoot, but we only got a grant for one. He could have certainly used a second set of hands but he went and did it and he came back. It was an experience but he really turned out a nice special. ”

After 15 years as host, in 2013, Bird took on the role of Assignment Editor at CTV Regina, managing the newsroom and guiding reporters with their daily stories.

He handed Indigenous Circle hosting duties to Creeson Agecoutay.

"He was always there. He'd pick up a camera, tell you how to film it, tell you who to get, tell you who to interview, what questions to ask. He knew it all," Agecoutay reminisced.

Agecoutay would go on to CTV National News as a reporter and Atlantic Bureau Chief, before being named host of APTN’s (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) National News.

When reflecting on his own career path, Agecoutay is quick to credit Bird’s mentorship and support.

"He made me believe in myself. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without him, let's just say that," Agecoutay admitted.

Bird’s own path is riddled with accomplishments, including the RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award (Radio Television Digital News Association) and the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Medal.

His lasting impact isn’t measured in plaques or accolades, though, it’s in the generations of journalists, who have learned from Bird’s hard-earned lessons and natural aptitude for storytelling.

"He not only reflected Indigenous stories, he showed Indigenous youth that they can do it too and I don’t think you can put a price on that," Worth remarked.

"His mission, to tell good Indigenous stories, and find good Indigenous stories, stories that connect with people, he did that, throughout the week, throughout the year," Agecoutay said.

That mission is far from over, as Bird insists, he’s not retiring, just entering a new chapter. The details are not yet public but it’s safe to say his skills will be put to good use. Top Stories

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