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High Steel

High Steel

| 13 min

This short documentary offers a dizzying view of the Mohawk of Kahnawake who work in Manhattan erecting the steel frames of skyscrapers. Famed for their skill in working with steel, the Mohawks demonstrate their nimble abilities in the sky. As a counterbalance, the viewer is also allowed a peek at their quieter community life on the Kahnawake Reserve, in Quebec.

  • director
    Don Owen
  • script
    Don Owen
  • editing
    Don Owen
  • producer
    Julian Biggs
  • camera
    John Spotton
  • sound
    Ron Alexander
    Roger Lamoureux
  • re-recording
    Ron Alexander
    Roger Lamoureux
  • sound editing
    John Knight
  • narrator
    Don Francks
  • music
    Bruce Mackay


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Ages 13 to 17

History and Citizenship Education - First Occupants (to 1500)
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges
Media Education - Documentary Film

Ask media literacy students to examine the film's representation of First Nations people: their "special knack" with high jobs; their pride in steel work; their ability to collaborate; the notion of self-sacrifice in the face of economic necessity. Film students can study and practise use of sound, camera work, and unique narration (discuss the non-Native narrator). Ask Aboriginal Studies students to consider the role of high jobs in shaping First Nations identity.

High Steel
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