The Ballad of Crowfoot

Willie Dunn
1968 | 10 min
Released in 1968 and often referred to as Canada’s first music video, The Ballad of Crowfoot was directed by Willie Dunn, a Mi’kmaq/Scottish folk singer and activist who was part of the historic Indian Film Crew, the first all-Indigenous production unit at the NFB. The film is a powerful look at colonial betrayals, told through a striking montage of archival images and a ballad composed by Dunn himself about the legendary 19th-century Siksika (Blackfoot) chief who negotiated Treaty 7 on behalf of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The IFC’s inaugural release, Crowfoot was the first Indigenous-directed film to be made at the NFB.

Awards and distinctions

  • Award of Excellence
    Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax
  • Blue Ribbon Award
    Itinerant - American Film and Video Festival, New York
  • Gold Hugo - Category: Short Film
    International Film Festival, Chicago
  • First Prize , Mention and Best Selection
    SODRE International Festival of Documentary and experimental Films, Montevideo