The Gift of Diabetes

The Gift of Diabetes


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This feature-length documentary explores the diabetes epidemic within Indigenous communities in Canada. Ojibway filmmaker Brion Whitford lives with the pain of advanced diabetes, but shunned traditional Indigenous medicine and healing practices. But as his health deteriorated, he had a change of heart. Join Brion as he connects with his culture, comes to grips with his own mortality, and tries to re-establish balance in his life.

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The Gift of Diabetes , O. Brion Whitford & John Paskievich, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    O. Brion Whitford
    John Paskievich
  • writer
    O. Brion Whitford
  • editor
    Don Steggles
  • producer
    Joe MacDonald
    John Paskievich
  • camera
    Charles Konowal
    Claude Savard
    John Paskievich
  • sound recordist
    Craig Lapp
    Russ Dyck
    Jay Garuk
    Marvin Polanski
    Norman Dugas
  • original music composer
    Richard Moody
  • music performer
    Richard Moody
  • narrator
    O. Brion Whitford
  • online editor
    Tony Wytinck
  • re-recording mixer
    Howard Rissin
  • sound editor
    Anita Lubosch
  • camera assistant
    Karine Guay
    Sheldon Roulette
    Andrea Hardy
    Jason Heke
    Keith Eidse
  • key grip
    John Holowka
  • logging assistant
    Lorne Olsen
  • production manager
    Sandra Moore
  • production coordinator
    Melanie Coad
    Monique Perron
    Rolande Petit
  • program administrator
    Cyndi Forcand
  • marketing manager
    Leslie Stafford
  • production supervisor
    Scott Collins
  • photo animation
    Scott Collins
  • executive producer
    Michael Scott
    Graydon McCrea

  • Christine

    Watching this in 2023. So many teachings in this beautiful film. Thank you Brion.

    Christine, 21 Mar 2023
  • None

    Brion was an older brother to me. My eldest brother Dave was best friends with him. He lived with us for a spell in the 70's and i will never forget those times. Tough on the outside yet a huge heart on the inside. Made me a set of goaltender pads from jeans and foam. Unbelievable! Played many road hockey games wearing those pads. We played board games and table hockey till all hours of the night. A very special person. You are missed and love Brion Dale

    None, 26 Mar 2019
  • None

    Almost 13 years since you have been gone! Jan 30, 2006 Still seems like yesterday!! You made so many changes in our community! Wonder what it would be like if you were still here? I remember you always bringing me gifts from your travels, until you said if you want things from those places? You go there yourself, hence the start of my traveling! Thank you dear brother!! Love your baby sister Susan.

    None, 28 Dec 2018
  • sabourinj22

    I would love to watch the film, please fix the site :)

    sabourinj22, 31 May 2015
  • Juan_Gutierrez_Mejia

    My admiration for Brion´s message, it is far much about wisdom, so many facts we do not stop to think about anymore. Truly a film all medical students need to see in order to understand the healers attitude more than just the medicine based evidence attitude.

    Juan_Gutierrez_Mejia, 17 Nov 2012
  • benjibee

    Such beauty. Thank you for this.

    benjibee, 14 Nov 2011
  • velehman

    Great to see the late Brion again, despite his terrible situation. He gave us a great gift. Passing this to some Med students who should really benefit from his insights.

    velehman, 20 Jun 2011
  • sherri-lynn

    I have watched this video a number of times with nursing students. We've often wondered how Brion is now. After reading Tiffany's post I am assuming that Brion has lost his battle? He was an inspiration!

    sherri-lynn, 20 Apr 2010
  • Tiffany

    I was very close to Brion, so when I watch this i feel sad, he is truly missed and I wish i had the chance to say goodbye. Brion was so gifted and talented and his dark sense of humor rubbed off on me and im glad for it, it made me strong and who i am today. I'm so lucky to have had Brion be a part of my whole life. if only he knew how much that mattered to me...

    Tiffany, 14 Apr 2010
  • profit_adwriter

    This film is an eye opener. The view of thinking Diabetes as a gift... wonderful. I now have a way that leads. Thank you.

    profit_adwriter, 19 Feb 2010

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