Ce court métrage documentaire nous amène au coeur d'un véritable pow-wow traditionnel. En suivant le parcours de Tony Chachai, jeune Autochtone en quête d’identité, la cinéaste originaire de Manawan se penche sur la culture, le passé et la transmission du savoir et des connaissances au sein des membres d’une communauté atikamekw. Mu par le désir de renouer avec sa famille et ses racines, Tony Chachai livre un témoignage touchant sur le chemin qui l’a ramené auprès des siens. À l’aube de devenir père, il prend conscience de la richesse de cet héritage et célèbre ce passé en dansant dans un pow-wow aux côtés de son cousin Ronny Chachai.
Ce film a été réalisé par Thérèse Ottawa, cinéaste à l'occasion du concours Tremplin NIKANIK, destiné aux cinéastes francophones des Premières Nations du Québec.
This short documentary tells the story of Tony Chachai, a young Indigenous man in search of his identity. Moved by the desire to reconnect with his Atikamekw roots, he delivers a touching testimony on the journey that brought him closer to his family and community. On the verge of becoming a father himself, he becomes increasingly aware of the richness of his heritage and celebrates it by dancing in a powwow.This film was produced as part of Tremplin NIKANIK, a competition for francophone First Nations filmmakers in Quebec.
This feature-length documentary chronicles the Sundance ceremony brought to Eastern Canada by William Nevin of the Elsipogtog First Nation of the Mi'kmaq. Nevin learned from Elder Keith Chiefmoon of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Alberta. Under the July sky, participants in the Sundance ceremony go four days without food or water. Then they will pierce the flesh of their chests in an offering to the Creator. This event marks a transmission of culture and a link to the warrior traditions of the past.
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.
In the last forty years, Canada has seen a major population shift of Indigenous peoples to the urban centres like Toronto which has become home to the largest urban Indigenous population in the country (an estimated 65,000).
Today's urban Indigenous peoples (both those with a direct connection to land-based reservation life, and those who have always lived in cities) are developing an urban Indigenous culture. They are discovering ways to integrate important expressions of traditional culture into city life, including the tradition of the Elder: a person of great wisdom who dispenses advice, settles disputes, and acts as a model and arbitrator of acceptable behaviour.
Meet Vern Harper, Urban Elder, who walks the "Red Road" in a fast-paced, urban landscape. The camera follows Vern as he leads a sweat lodge purification ceremony, watches his 11-year-old daughter Cody at a classical ballet rehearsal, conducts a private healing ceremony, participates in a political march of 150,000 people, and counsels Indigenous prisoners at Warkworth Federal Prison.
In his own voice, Vern Harper tells the Urban Elder story of how he reaches into the past for his people's traditions, blending those old ways into the present so that the future can be a time of personal growth and spiritual strength.
This short documentary follows three Indigenous women as they practice ancestral forms of worship: drumming, singing, and using sweetgrass. These ancient spiritual traditions may at first seem at odds with urban life, but to Indigenous people in Canada who are used to praying in natural settings, the whole world is sacred space.
This short documentary journeys into the spiritual world of traditional Indigenous medicine, a world inhabited by Dr. Mary Louie (a spiritual leader of the Syilx or Okanagan Nation), and her husband Ed Louie. With a lifetime of experience in the ways of spirituality, they are committed to practices that keep them accountable to the spirit world, their people, and Mother Earth. When one of the crew members get sick while shooting, his subsequent care is recorded for the purposes of this film.
This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929. The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over 60 years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government.Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums.
The men of Shoal Lake 40 tell the story of life in the community from their perspective, in the lead-up to their annual powwow. Lorne Redsky works the outdated pump house; there is no money to fix basic systems and bottled water is required for everyday use. As Lorne focuses his energy on the monumental task of getting clean water to the powwow, community member Kavin Redsky prepares his regalia for dancing, a deeply personal process connected to his healing journey. The two men embody the powerful gifts of community, traditional culture, and medicines, which have given the people of Shoal Lake 40 the resilience to continue the fight for Freedom Road
This short film offers a snap-shot of life in Fort Frances, Ontario, as some of its community members prepare to gather in a special place that will bond their hearts and minds. By engaging in ceremony and celebrating their language, culture and land, the people are creating “Zaagi’idiwin”—a symbol of their truth, their story and their own reconciliation, which is community-defined, beautiful and inspiring.
In this feature documentary, filmmaker René Siouï Labelle retraces the path of his ancestors and surveys their territories, recording images of stunning beauty. He unveils a historical journey known to very few as he reflects upon the identity of the Wendat nation. In French with English subtitles.
When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he carved the first new totem pole on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter steps easily through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire village of Old Massett gathered to celebrate the event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit.
Ages 12 to 18
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges
This documentary can evoke conversation and deeper understanding of Indigenous identity. Why is it important for foster families to nurture Indigenous cultural ways of being, knowing and doing? Research the Indian Act in relation to banning cultural regalia and dance. Why would the government want to make dance and regalia illegal? What would the long-term effects of this type of cultural repression be? Can the resurgence of Indigenous cultural practices, once outlawed by forced assimilation policies, nurture healing and wellness within individuals, communities and society? Research the significance of a powwow, smudging, eagle feathers, drum songs, and dance styles and regalia. When researching, consider the importance of using an Indigenous source.