The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more
Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

| 8 min

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. When an elder in the community offers him a small piece of pipestone, Maq carves a little person out of it. Proud of his work, the boy wants to impress his grandfather and journeys through the woods to find him. Along the path Maq meets a curious traveller named Mi'gmwesu. Together they share stories, medicine, laughter, and song. Maq begins to care less about making a good impression and more about sharing the knowledge and spirit he's found through his creation. Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children's stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.

  • director
    Phyllis Grant
  • animator
    Phyllis Grant
  • writer
    Phyllis Grant
  • storyteller
    Gilbert Sewell
  • original music
    Normand Roger
  • sound design
    Normand Roger
  • original music - collaboration
    Pierre Yves Drapeau
  • sound design - collaboration
    Pierre Yves Drapeau
  • singer
    Gilbert Sewell
  • flute
    Michel Dubeau
  • animation assistance
    Lillian Chan
    Stephanie Duong
    Rick Knowles
  • digital imaging specialist
    Susan Gourley
    Benoît Chagnon
  • lead infographist
    Randall Finnerty
  • infographist
    Jason Smalridge
    Catherine Lafortune
    Neerajkumar Patel
  • actuality cinematography
    John Walker
  • cast
    River Caplin
    Christopher Grant
    Felicia Grant
    Tristan Grant
    Ava Sewell
  • off-line editing
    Jason Grant
    Jason Lee
  • online editing
    Denis Gathelier
  • voice recording
    Ralf Cassidy Bindels
    Alex Salter
  • re-recording
    Luc Léger
  • titles
    Gaspard Gaudreau
  • scanning
    Jean-Marc Brosseau
    Pierre Landry
  • technical coordination
    Patricia Coughran
    Samuel Lambert
    Julie Laperrière
    Richard Lesage
    Jelena Popovic
  • studio administration
    John William Lutz
    Gisèle Guilbault
    Rosalina Di Sario
  • marketing
    Hélène Tanguay
    Melissa Wheeler
  • executive producer
    Kent Martin
    David Verrall
  • producer
    Kent Martin
    Michael Fukushima


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 7 to 16

Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Family Studies/Home Economics - Relationships
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Media Education - Film Animation

This animated film can create entry points for learning about Indigenous ceremonies and belief systems. What is the significance of the Pipe Ceremony in relation to a specific First Nations group? Research the significant difference between ceremonial smoking of the pipe and smoking cigarettes as an everyday habit or addiction. Why is it important to learn about First Nations ways of being from First Nations people? Why is it important to understand that each First Nation may have unique sets of stories and beliefs that are considered sacred? How are oral stories an important method of passing on ways of being within Indigenous contexts?

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods
Purchase options
Already paid to see this film?

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset