This animated short by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril tells a tragic and twisted story about the dangers of revenge. A cruel mother mistreats her son, feeding him dog meat and forcing him to sleep in the cold. A loon, who tells the boy that his mother blinded him, helps the child regain his eyesight. Then the boy seeks revenge, releasing his mother's lifeline as she harpoons a whale and watching her drown. Based on a portion of the epic Inuit legend "The Blind Boy and the Loon."
This animated short tells the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. The tale is based on emerging filmmaker Echo Henoche's favourite legend, as told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's North Coast. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman is the first collaboration between the Labrador artist and the NFB.
In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.
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.
In this feature-length documentary, 8 Inuit teens with cameras offer a vibrant and contemporary view of life in Canada's North. They also use their newly acquired film skills to confront a broad range of issues, from the widening communication gap between youth and their elders to the loss of their peers to suicide. In Inuktitut with English subtitles.
This short documentary studies life in the village of Kangirsujuaq, Nunavik. In this community on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, children’s laughter fills the streets while the old people ponder the passage of time. They are nomads of the wide-open spaces who are trying to get used to the strange feeling of staying put. While the teenagers lap up Southern culture and play golf on the tundra to kill time, the Elders are slowly dying, as their entire culture seems to fade away.
Elisapie Isaac, a filmmaker born in Nunavik, decides to return to her roots on this breathtaking land. To bridge the growing gap between the young and the old, she speaks to her grandfather, now deceased, and confides in him her hopes and fears. Grappling with isolation, family relationships, resource extraction, land-based knowledges, the influence of Southern culture and the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Inuit ways of life, Elisapie Isaac offers a nuanced portrait of the North.
In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.
Ages 8 to 11
Arts Education - Visual Arts
Family Studies/Home Economics - Relationships
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Inuit culture places great significance on animals and their spiritual powers. What does the loon represent to Inuit people and why would it be an appropriate animal to give back the boy’s sight? Ask students whether they agree with the boy’s decision to trick his mother. Is he punished for this? Why or why not? Have students research stories from other cultures in which a human is changed into an animal as punishment or reward.