The origins and evolution of the Innu Nikamu Music and Aboriginal Arts Festival are intimately linked to the cultural and territorial roots of the Innu people and to the life of the Mani-Utenam Reserve community. In the 20th century, Notre-Dame boarding school in Mani-Utenam took Innu children away from their family, territory and culture, and was part of a government imposed residential school program that left an indelible scar on the community. At the school’s closing the buildings were demolished and buried in a field which was to become, a decade later in 1985, the site of Innu Nikamu. Through the music which has accompanied the Innu people throughout their history, director Kevin Bacon traces the fabulous story of the founders, musicians, artisans and collaborators who ignited the hope of a community in distress, and dared to believe that the re-appropriation of their culture and their language was not an impossible challenge.
Innu Nikamu: Sing and Resist, Kevin Bacon Hervieux, provided by the National Film Board of Canada