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B.C. family represents their Indigenous heritage on Family Feud Canada

Best part of experience was ‘joking around with Gerry Dee’ — contestant
Host Gerry Dee meets the Roberts family on Family Feud Canada, Season 4. From left are Dee, Sheryl Thompson, Julie Bronson, Robyn Ross, Iris Rayburn and Marian Atkinson. Photo courtesy CBC

Sheryl Thompson and her family have always joked about going on a show like Family Feud Canada.

The thing is, she’s not the kind of person to not follow through on an idea like that.

“I’m the type of person that likes to walk my talk,” she said. “And so I say, you know what? Time’s up, let’s do this.”

So she and her family (Julie Bronson, Robyn Ross, Iris Rayburn and Marian Atkinson) put together an audition tape and sent it off.

“We all wore our cedar bark hats,” Thompson said. “It showed Campbell River, it showed our Nation, the canoes. It was really good.”

Somebody at CBC must have enjoyed it, because after a few interviews and Zoom meetings, they asked Thompson if she and the family could come to Toronto for filming in September.

“To myself, I’m going ‘holy…’ But to my team, yeah, I said, ‘yeah, let’s do that,’” she said. “Family Feud paid for all our expenses except for our food, they flew us from Campbell River to Toronto, gave us a beautiful hotel right downtown and and then we went to Family Feud.”

The episode, which aired Dec. 5, has the Roberts family, who are members of the We Wai Kum First Nation, facing off against the Wilson family from Whitby, Ontario. For those who don’t want a spoiler, the episode is available to watch online. While the Roberts’ didn’t prevail against the Wilsons, they sure did have a good time.

“When I’m nervous I get really animated,” Thompson said. “I just say something really crazy which makes people laugh and it’s kind of like letting them know you’re the same as me. You know, we’re not different … That’s just how we roll in our family. We like to laugh a lot and I think that’s the point of the show too.”

The Roberts family also stood out because they wore their traditional Cedar hats and regalia on the show, which was Thompson’s idea.

“I wanted to do something different,” she said.

Though they did not win, they did get $200 each from Family Feud Canada. They decided that since they were already in Toronto they would do some things that they always wanted to do like watch a Blue Jays game and visit Niagara Falls.

Thompson’s favourite part of the experience was coming home to people in the community who were excited about the local exposure on TV.

“That, and joking around with Gerry Dee,” Thompson said.

“I encourage anybody to give it a try,” she said. “Yeah think of something you need about your family and and go for because it’s quite easy.”

The episode is available online.

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Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Black press in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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