Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell
As a young man, former Akwasasne Grand Chief Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell, Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk), was a member of the historic Indian Film Crew, an all-Indigenous group of film trainees formed at the NFB in 1967. One of the most influential IFC films was You Are on Indian Land (1969), directed by Mitchell but only formally credited to him in 2017. Documenting a protest on the international bridge in Akwesasne, a Kanien’kéhaka community straddling the Canada/US border, the film was widely screened, mobilizing activism across the continent and raising new awareness of injustices faced by Indigenous peoples. Mitchell also directed Who Were the Ones? (1972) and co-directed These Are My People (1969).