Cree family shoots for ‘aunt laughs’ on Family Feud Canada

A Cree family with roots in the James Bay regions of northern Ontario and Quebec say they are happy to be able to show strong Indigenous representation in the latest season of Family Feud Canada.

The Wabano family was in Toronto last month to record in front of a live studio audience the fourth season of the show, which airs on CBC television and streams on CBC Gem.

« We wanted to do this [to] show that there is room for Indigenous voices…for Indigenous promotion and awareness of the resilience of our people,” said Virginia Wabano of Mistissini, Quebec, who competes with her children Scott, Rick and Vicky, as well as her daughter -law Maroline.

The Wabanos have ties to the Cree community of Waskaganish, Quebec, and Moose Factory, Ontario, where Virginia grew up and raised her family.

Virginia, left, and Scott Wabano, right. Along with their older brother Rick and sister Vicky, the Wabanos will be part of the fourth season of Family Feud Canada. (submitted by Scott Wabano)

Son Scott Wabano is an influencer and a rising star in the fashion world. A two-spirited wardrobe stylist, fashion designer, model and popular TikToker who now lives in Toronto, Scott was recently named to The Globe and Mail’s Best Dressed of 2022 list.

« It’s important that we continue to show that Indigenous people are very strong and resilient people, » mom Virginia said, adding that the family wanted to do this to keep pushing the boundaries of Indigenous representation.

« A lot of times we don’t really see that representation in these types of games or in other areas like the fashion industry…like with my son Scott, » Virginia said.

Other Indigenous Representation

In the first three seasons of Family Feud Canada, seven Indigenous families competed. For the fourth season, seven other Aboriginal families, including the Wabano, will be competing.

Scott coordinated the outfits the family wore during the tapings, which took place September 12 and 13 on CBC Toronto. The ribbon skirts were made by Cree maker Chelsea Blackned of the Moose Cree First Nation in Moose Factory, Ontario. The family also wore beads from Ocean Kiana, a Nishinaabe woodland style artist from northwestern Ontario.

scott vicki virginia marjoline and rick wabano
Scott Wabano, left, and his sister Vicki, mom Virginia, center, Maroline Linklater and brother Rick, right, are among the families competing in season four of Family Feud Canada. (Alex Urosevic/CBC)

Scott made a call on social media for Toronto-area Indigenous people to join them for the tapings in September.

« Aunt Laughs in the Crowd »: Scott

“We would love to hear lots of Aunt laughter in the crowd,” they wrote.

Family Feud Canada, like its American version, pits two families against each other to guess the most popular answers to poll questions. The show is hosted by actor and comedian Gerry Dee.

It was a natural fit for the Wabanos to participate, since playing games is something they often do at family gatherings, Virginia said.

scott wabano
The Globe and Mail named Scott Wabano, who grew up in Moose Factory, Ont., one of the best dressed people of 2022. (Provided by Scott Wabano)

« We always loved watching Family Feud and we used to compete with each other when we played the show, » she said.

For the application, the family had to pass a few group and individual interviews and participate in a test game.

“It was great fun… We did it via Zoom and had to answer a lot of questions about ourselves, our family, our community and the activities we do as a family, fun things that happened in our lives. There are a lot of different things to ask, says Virginie.

The Wabano family’s appearance on the show airs Monday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBC and CBC Gem.


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