Une mère emmène ses deux jeunes fils citadins à la pêche avec leur kokum (grand-mère) : cette simple excursion est une forme de résistance puissante qui recrée le lien qui les unit à la terre natale et les uns aux autres.
In this layered short film, filmmaker Janine Windolph takes her young sons fishing with their kokum (grandmother), a residential school survivor who retains a deep knowledge and memory of the land. The act of reconnecting with their homeland is a cultural and familial healing journey for the boys, who are growing up in the city. It’s also a powerful form of resistance for the women.
- Q&A with filmmaker Janine Windolph
- Journey of Indigenous Peoples as Told By Indigenous Women Filmmakers Playlist
This documentary focuses on the goose hunt, a ritual of central importance to the Cree people of the James Bay coastal areas. Not only a source of food, the hunt is also used to transfer Cree culture, skills, and ethics to future generations. Filmmaker Paul M. Rickard invites us along with his own family on a fall goose hunt, so that we can share in the experience.
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.
This film tells the story of the Whiteways of Matheson Island, who for generations have depended on commercial fishing as a means of survival and livelihood. The Whiteways share their devotion to their fishing lifestyle and the fulfillment and freedom it provides, as well as various challenges that arise due to factors such as health, government policy and the threatened future of the fishing industry.
On June 11 and 20, 1981, the Quebec Provincial Police (QPP) raided Restigouche Reserve, Quebec. At issue were the salmon-fishing rights of the Mi’kmaq. Because salmon has traditionally been a source of food and income for the Mi’kmaq, the Quebec government’s decision to restrict fishing aroused consternation and anger. Released in 1984, this groundbreaking and impassioned account of the police raids brought Alanis Obomsawin to international attention. The film features a remarkable on-camera exchange between Obomsawin herself and provincial Minister of Fisheries Lucien Lessard, the man who’d ordered the raid. Decades later, Jeff Barnaby, director of Rhymes for Young Ghouls, cited the film as an inspiration. “That documentary encapsulated the idea of films being a form of social protest for me... It started right there with that film.”
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 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.
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.
This short documentary follows Gabe Etchinelle as builds a mooseskin boat as a tribute to an earlier way of life, where the Shotah Dene people would use a mooseskin boats and transport their families and cargo down mountain rivers to trading settlements throughout the Northwest Territories.
François Néwashish was the only one in his family from the Atikamekw community of Manawan not to go to residential school. He recollects a story of hunting with his father and how the spirit of the partridge protects children.
This short is part of the Manawan series directed by Alanis Obomsawin