In Heartbeat of a Nation, a short documentary by Eric Janvier that celebrates Dene cultural reclamation and revitalization, a father passes on traditional knowledge to his child through the teachings of a caribou drum.
An adventurous young boy and his determined mother share a passion for Inuit drum dancing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Evan’s Drum is a joyful visit to a family’s loving home, and an uplifting story of cultural pride. After generations of silence, the rhythm of the traditional Inuit drum has returned to Labrador, and seven-year-old Evan is part of the new generation that will keep its heartbeat strong.
Also available in Inuktitut!
Nalujuk Night is an up close look at an exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, Labrador Inuit tradition. Every January 6th from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appear on the sea ice. They walk on two legs, yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal, and otherworldly. Snow crunches underfoot as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain.
Despite the frights, Nalujuk Night is a beloved annual event, showing that sometimes it can be fun to be scared. Rarely witnessed outside of Nunatsiavut, this annual event is an exciting chance for Inuit, young and old, to prove their courage and come together as a community to celebrate culture and tradition.
Inuk filmmaker Jennie Williams brings audiences directly into the action in this bone-chilling black and white short documentary about a winter night like no other.
This short film tells the story of Rocky Morin, a drummer who first felt the pull of the drum almost 15 years ago and hasn't looked back since. It's a powerful reminder of the need to maintain a strong connection to one's roots. First Stories is an emerging filmmaker program for Indigenous youth which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
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.
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.
This film discusses topics of trauma and abuse. Viewer discretion is advised.
Ever Deadly is an immersive, visceral music and cinema experience featuring Tanya Tagaq, avant-garde Inuk throat singer, and created in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan. This documentary explores Tagaq’s transformation of sound with an eye to colonial fallout, natural freedom and Canadian history.
We witness Tagaq’s intimate relationship with the Nuna—the Land—a living, breathing organism present in all forms of her improvised performances. Ever Deadly weaves concert footage with stunning sequences filmed on location in Nunavut, seamlessly bridging landscapes, stories and songs with pain, anger and triumph—all through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
In this six-minute short, Inuit artist, storyteller and co-director Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok) depicts Inuit creation stories in all their glory. Arctic Song tells stories of how the land, sea and sky came to be in beautifully rendered animation. Telling traditional Inuit tales from the Iglulik region of Nunavut through song, the film revitalizes ancient knowledge and shares it with future generations.
This film shares the story of Camp Morningstar, a sacred camp established on the east side of Lake Winnipeg that was erected in response to the proposal of a silica sand mine. The film explores Camp Morningstar’s historical and spiritual connections to territory, the role of ceremony and spirituality, and the power of collective action.
The Lake Winnipeg Project is a four-part documentary series that calls attention to stories of ingenuity and resilience in four diverse communities surrounding Lake Winnipeg, at a time when many external forces are imposing change. Anishinaabe/Cree director Kevin Settee takes an “own-voices” approach to storytelling that gives Lake Winnipeg communities and peoples the opportunity to tell their own stories and speak to the challenges and successes they experience.
An intimate glimpse into the life of Cree author, musician, playwright, and storyteller Tomson Highway, who is the 2022 recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Through his warmth and Cree humour Tomson invites us into his home in Gatineau, Quebec, where he shares stories about his parents, reasons for living, and the power of music as a language in and of itself.
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.