Ce court métrage documentaire expose sous un angle très personnel l’insoutenable déchirement que représente la recherche d’un être cher porté disparu. Kyle Kematch et Katherena Vermette ont tous deux connu cet immense chagrin. L’une des sœurs de Kyle est disparue il y a plus de 5 ans. Il travaille aujourd’hui pour l’organisme bénévole Drag the Red, qui mène des recherches dans la rivière Rouge afin de trouver des indices qui auraient un lien avec des membres disparus de la communauté autochtone. Katherena est une poète et une auteure dont toutes les œuvres s’inspirent d’un drame familial survenu il y plus de 20 ans. Bien que les circonstances de la perte que chacun d’eux a subie diffèrent, Kyle et Katherena incarnent la beauté, la dignité, la résilience et le militantisme né du besoin d’agir.
This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.
Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh brings us a compelling documentary that puts a human face on a national tragedy – the epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The film takes a journey into the heart of Indigenous women's experience, from Vancouver's skid row, down the Highway of Tears in northern BC, and on to Saskatoon, where the murders and disappearances of these women remain unsolved.
This short documentary offers a portrait of a group of women who led their community, the largest reserve in Canada, Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, in an historic blockade to protect their land.On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy blockaded a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development on land that falls within their traditional territories. The ensuing confrontation made national headlines for months. Less well-known is the crucial role of the clan mothers of the community who set the rules for conduct. When the community's chiefs ask people to abandon the barricades, it is the clan mothers who overrule them, leading a cultural reawakening in their traditionally matriarchal community.
Released in 1969, this short documentary was one of the most influential and widely distributed productions made by the Indian Film Crew (IFC), the first all-Indigenous unit at the NFB. It documents a 1969 protest by the Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) of Akwesasne, a territory that straddles the Canada–U.S. border. When Canadian authorities prohibited the duty-free cross-border passage of personal purchases—a right established by the Jay Treaty of 1794—Kanien’kéhaka protesters blocked the international bridge between Ontario and New York State. Director Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell later became Grand Chief of Akwesasne. The film was formally credited to him in 2017. You Are on Indian Land screened extensively across the continent, helping to mobilize a new wave of Indigenous activism. It notably was shown at the 1970 occupation of Alcatraz.
Mary Two-Axe Earley: Skonkwehón:we Á:re kaká:raton ne Mary Two-Axe Earley akoká:ra, ísi’ nón: ne teiohseráhsen iakohskehnhà:’on taié:tahste’ tsi shakotikenhrón:nis konnonkwehón:we né:ne í:kare’ Kakoráhsera’ aoianerénhsera’ Indian Act nok tsi wa’ehsennowáhnha’ né: Canada’s women’s rights movement.
Né:ne iah nonwén:ton ónhka teiakotkáhthon kí:ken wateweièn:ton karahstánion nok kawennarahstánion wátston, Ienien’kehá:ka iekararáhstha’ Courtney Mountor teiotíhthare’ ne Ienien’kehá:ka iakonkwe’kénha né:ne iakohskehnhà’:on taié:tahste’ tsi shakotikenhrón:nis tsonathonwí:sen nok Kakoráhsera’ tsi nihotiianerenhserò:ten’ tsi ronte’niéntha’ ahonwanáhton’te’ nonkwehón:we. Nè:’e arihón:ni wahónhton’te’ ne onkwehón:we ahontatena’tónhkhwake’ ne konnonkwehón:we nok ronwatiien’okòn:’a tsi wahotíniake’ ne iah tehonnonkwehón:we.
Montour teiotíhthare’ Iehrhakón:ha iakorihwahskéhnhen Nellie Carlson, ne Mary akwáh ákta tsi ionátshi tánon’ iakotahsnié:nen tsi tionatáhsawe’ ne Indian Rights for Indian Women, nok áhsen nikahwatsiratátie’ tehonatátken ne Mary tsi iekhonnià:tha’ ne Kahnawà:ke, né: ká:ti’ ahshakotihsennakará:tate’ ní:kon iakoterihwakanonnì:’on tsi tiakotenenhratáhsawe’ aontahontén:rohwe’ akaia’takehnhahtsherénhawe’ aonsonteríhsi’ tsi rotirihón:ni ne tóhsa ahontatena’tónhkhwake’ onkwehón:we ne ioshentsheró:ton nihá:ti konnonkwehón:we nok ronwatiien’okòn:’a.
Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again shares the powerful story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act and became a key figure in Canada’s women’s rights movement.
Using never-before-seen archival footage and audio recordings, Mohawk filmmaker Courtney Montour engages in a deeply personal conversation with the late Mohawk woman who challenged sexist and genocidal government policies that stripped First Nations women and children of their Indian status when they married non-Indian men.
Montour speaks with Cree activist Nellie Carlson, Mary’s lifelong friend and co-founder of Indian Rights for Indian Women, and meets with three generations in Mary’s kitchen in Kahnawà:ke to honour the legacy of a woman who galvanized a national network of allies to help restore Indian status to thousands of First Nations women and children.
In this feature-length documentary by Alanis Obomsawin, it's the summer of 2000 and the country watches in disbelief as federal fisheries wage war on the Mi'kmaq fishermen of Burnt Church, New Brunswick. Why would officials of the Canadian government attack citizens for exercising rights that had been affirmed by the highest court in the land? Casting her cinematic and intellectual nets into history to provide context, Obomsawin delineates the complex roots of the conflict with passion and clarity, building a persuasive defence of the Mi'kmaq position.
A tribute to Indigenous women everywhere, this short documentary focuses on 5 women from across Canada. Of varied ages and backgrounds, they have achieved success in a variety of careers: as the Yukon legislature's first Indigenous woman minister (Margaret Joe), as a deck hand on a fishing boat (Corinne Hunt), as a teacher (Sophie MacLeod), as a lawyer (Roberta Jamieson), and as a band council chief (Sophie May Pierre - St. Mary’s Indian Band of the Ktunaxa Nation off the Ktunaxa Nation).Each of these women talks about how she got to where she is today while emphasizing the importance of Indigenous culture - its values, art, and spiritual beliefs - in helping her to develop a sense of self and seeing through rough times, including residential school experiences.
Released in 1969, These Are My People… was the first NFB film made entirely by an Indigenous crew. It was co-directed by Roy Daniels, Willie Dunn, Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell and Barbara Wilson—members of the Indian Film Crew (IFC), an all-Indigenous unit established in 1968 as part of Challenge for Change, a broader organizational initiative to use media to effect social change. One of the first Canadian documentaries to foreground an Indigenous perspective on the history of Indigenous–settler relations, it features Standing Arrow and Tom Porter, from the Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) community of Akwesasne, who discuss longhouse religion, culture, government and the impacts of settler arrival on their way of life.
The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements, connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today. The Road Forward’s stunningly shot musical sequences, performed by an ensemble of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and musicians, seamlessly connect past and present with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats. A rousing tribute to the fighters for First Nations rights, a soul-resounding historical experience, and a visceral call to action.
As the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Senator Murray Sinclair was a key figure in raising global awareness of the atrocities of Canada’s residential school system. With determination, wisdom and kindness, Senator Sinclair remains steadfast in his belief that the path to actual reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people requires understanding and accepting often difficult truths about Canada’s past and present. Alanis Obomsawin shares the powerful speech the Senator gave when he accepted the WFM-Canada World Peace Award, interspersing the heartbreaking testimonies of former students imprisoned at residential schools. The honouring of Senator Sinclair reminds us to honour the lives and legacies of the tens of thousands of Indigenous children taken from their homes and cultures, and leaves us with a profound feeling of hope for a better future.
Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set
Ages 16 to 18
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
History and Citizenship Education - Issues in Society Today
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Law
A documentary that can be used to prompt class discussions, action initiatives and debates about social justice in an Indigenous context. How is the justice system’s undermining of the issue of missing Indigenous people reflective of the current and historical treatment and disregard for Indigenous lives? Is it necessary for Indigenous people and allies to form grassroots groups that advocate for fair and just treatment? What actions can be taken to lift up people and create a more ethical and just society? What can you do to combat violence and racism against Indigenous peoples in Canada? Why do racism, prejudice and discrimination against Indigenous peoples persist in Canada?