This short film is a retelling of the Mi’kmaq legend of Medoonak, the reckless ruler of the winds and the seas who was persuaded to quieten his magical wings and calm the churning waters so that the Mi’kmaq fishermen could catch food for their starving people. Here, the story is colourfully interpreted in mime, dance and narration by elaborately garbed and masked actors of the Mermaid Theatre of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
This short animation tells the tale of the great spirit Glooscap and how he battled with the giant Winter in order to bring Summer to the North and the Mi'kmaq people. Silas T. Rand, a Canadian Baptist clergyman and ethnographer, and Charles Leland, an American humorist and folklorist, first recorded the legend of Glooscap at the end of the 19th century. Since then, the legend has been retold many times, but never more beautifully than in this colourful animated interpretation.
In this film, a traditional Ojibwa legend about a hungry hunter, a huge snake and a wily fox is told to a group of children. Played by puppets, the characters assume increasingly human characteristics, ultimately delivering this moral: do not make promises you cannot keep.
Waseteg is the story of a young Mi'kmaq girl whose name means “the light from the dawn.” Sadly, her mother dies while giving birth and, though her father works very hard to provide for his family, Waseteg is surrounded by the bitterness and loneliness felt by her sisters.
As a young girl, Waseteg looks for solace in nature, and dreams of the stories she’s heard in the village – including one about Walqwan, the mysterious boy living across the river. Eventually, with the gentle care of the boy's grandmother, Waseteg succeeds in finding Walqwan, discovering the Spirit Path, and restoring love to her family.
A short story about dreams, courage, identity, creation and embracing our Elders, Waseteg showcases Phyllis Grant's signature style of bold lines, bright colours and simple movements. The film is beautifully narrated by legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.
Traditional Northwestern Indigenous spiritual images combine with cutting-edge computer animation in this surreal short film about the power of tradition. Three urban Indigenous teens are whisked away to an imaginary land by a magical raven, and there they encounter a totem pole. The totem pole's characters—a raven, a frog and a bear—come to life, becoming their teachers, guides and friends.Features a special interview with J. Bradley Hunt, the celebrated Heiltsuk artist on whose work the characters in Totem Talk are based.
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.
This introspective short animation takes place In the village of Carcross, in the Tagish First Nation. Neighbourhood pillar Grandma Kay tell the local children the tale of how Crow brought fire to people. As the story unfolds, we also meet 12-year-old Tish, an introspective, talented girl who feels drawn to the elder. Here, past and present blend, myth and reality meet, and the metaphor of fire infuses all in a location that lies at the heart of this Native community’s spiritual and cultural memory.
Contrasting ancient myth and modern reality, this short documentary examines the legendary relationship between West Coast Indigenous people and salmon, once their staple food. In the mythical realm, we learn how Raven finds riches in the harvest of the salmon, only to lose everything through a thoughtless act against the Spirit of the Salmon. So too does modern man jeopardize his living from the sea by heedless action. Images of ancient spear-fishing and smoke-houses contrast with images of today's Indigenous people operating a seiner and working in a cooperative cannery.
Sigwan tells the touching story of a young girl who is comforted and counselled by the animals of the forest. Written and directed by distinguished filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, the film addresses issues of exclusion and prejudice that exist within many communities worldwide. Visually breathtaking and in High-Definition, Sigwan is a simple, transformative parable of acceptance.
In this animated environmental parable, we find a people living in harmony with nature, until carelessness leads to the ravens' revenge. We follow a boy's courageous journey to the spirit world to find the only one who can save his village from the resulting darkness--the Lord of the sky. An artistic unity of form and content, Lord of the Sky is a dazzling combination of 3-D models, puppets, special effects and cut-out paper animation. Its intricate, beautifully rendered drawings reflect the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. The film speaks strongly of the need for ecological balance in the world.
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.