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Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners

Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners

| 47 min
Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners
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At a special ceremony during the opening of the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, seven Indigenous men in their fifties entered the stadium in war canoes. One of them held the Games torch. In 1967 when Winnipeg first hosted the Pan American Games, ten outstanding athletic teenage boys were chosen to run 800 kilometers over an ancient message route with the Games torch. When the runners arrived at the stadium, they were not allowed to enter with the torch. Instead, a non-Indigenous runner was given the honour. Thirty-two-years later, the province of Manitoba issued an official apology.

Nine of the ten young men chosen for the 1967 Pan Am Games torch run were from residential schools. Niigaanibatowaad is about the segregation of the Indigenous athletes and the despair and abuse suffered in the school system. Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners is a story of survival, hope, reconciliation and a dream for a new beginning that transcends hatred and racism.

  • director
    Lori Lewis
  • director's mentor
    John Gurdebeke
  • writer
    Laura Robinson
  • executive producer
    Phyllis Laing
  • producer
    Laura Robinson
    Lori Lewis
    Liz Jarvis
  • visual concept
    John Gurdebeke
  • director of photography
    Don Lowe
  • editor
    John Gurdebeke
  • sound designer
    John Gurdebeke
  • music
    James Creasey
  • cast
    Ron Desmoulins
    Derek, Jr. George
    Lori Lewis
    Darren M. Felbel
    Mary Black
    Patrick Bruyère
    Payton Whitehead
    Ryan McNally
    Charles Nelson
    Jeremiah Spence
  • spiritual advisor
    Charles Nelson
  • oshkabaywis
    Violet Caibaiosai
  • business affairs
    Deborah Carlson
  • production executive
    Jean Du Toit
  • line producer
    Shelly-Anne Hays
  • 1st assistant director
    Anastasia Geras
  • 2nd assistant director
    Caitlin Brown
  • production coordinator
    Caitlin Brown
  • art director
    Jason Gibbs
  • story editor
    Laura Phillips
  • story consultant
    Charles Nelson
    Fred Harper
    Patrick Bruyère
  • consultant
    John Gurdebeke
  • set decorator
    Robert Kestler
  • props master
    Chris Roznowsky
  • casting director
    Jim Heber
  • casting assistant
    Joey Ritchie
  • original theatrical casting
    Laura Robinson
  • 1st assistant camera
    Andrew Forbes
  • stills photographer
    Charles Shilliday
  • location sound
    Russ Dyck
  • boom operator
    Sacha Rosen
  • gaffer
    James Chrysler
  • best boy
    Ward Wotton
  • key grip
    Reil Munro
  • grip
    Richard Doyle
    Dennis Harper
    Chris Roy
    Julian Saray
    Sasha Spence
    Vince Syposh
  • rigging grip
    Kevin Glade
  • continuity
    Tanya Mazur
  • key wardrobe
    Angela Wells
  • key hair stylist
    Ediena Hawkes
  • key makeup
    Brianne Lewin
  • assistant location manager
    Rena Sharfe
  • production assistant
    Faith McDonald
  • production accountant
    Ross Ikeda
  • craft service
    Bea Letkeman
    Darlene Sanderson
  • craft service assistant
    Joyce Chene
  • online editor
    Tony Wytinck



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