Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners

Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners


                                    Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners
| 47 min
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At a special ceremony during the opening of the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, seven Indigenous men in their fifties entered the stadium in war canoes. One of them held the Games torch. In 1967 when Winnipeg first hosted the Pan American Games, ten outstanding athletic teenage boys were chosen to run 800 kilometers over an ancient message route with the Games torch. When the runners arrived at the stadium, they were not allowed to enter with the torch. Instead, a non-Indigenous runner was given the honour. Thirty-two-years later, the province of Manitoba issued an official apology.

Nine of the ten young men chosen for the 1967 Pan Am Games torch run were from residential schools. Niigaanibatowaad is about the segregation of the Indigenous athletes and the despair and abuse suffered in the school system. Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners is a story of survival, hope, reconciliation and a dream for a new beginning that transcends hatred and racism.

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Credits
  • key hair stylist
    Ediena Hawkes
  • key makeup
    Brianne Lewin
  • director
    Lori Lewis
  • writer
    Laura Robinson
  • executive producer
    Phyllis Laing
  • producer
    Laura Robinson
    Lori Lewis
    Liz Jarvis
  • visual concept
    John Gurdebeke
  • director of photography
    Don Lowe
  • editor
    John Gurdebeke
  • sound designer
    John Gurdebeke
  • music
    James Creasey
  • cast
    Ron Desmoulins
    Derek, Jr. George
    Lori Lewis
    Darren M. Felbel
    Mary Black
    Patrick Bruyère
    Payton Whitehead
    Ryan McNally
    Charles Nelson
    Jeremiah Spence
  • art director
    Jason Gibbs
  • story editor
    Laura Phillips
  • consultant
    John Gurdebeke
  • set decorator
    Robert Kestler
  • location sound
    Russ Dyck

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  • michaelcheena

    Toronto Pam Am representatives need to provide a reason for not screening this film at the games. This is a dishonour to the entire process of reconciliation and the legacy of Indian residential schools.

    michaelcheena, 27 Jul 2015
  • michaelcheena

    Toronto Pam Am representatives need to provide a reason for not screening this film at the games. This is a dishonour to the entire process of reconciliation and the legacy of Indian residential schools.

    michaelcheena, 27 Jul 2015
  • redbike

    Toronto Pan Am Games people decided not to screen this film during the Games

    redbike, 27 Jul 2015