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The People of the Kattawapiskak River

The People of the Kattawapiskak River

| 50 min

The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference. “Obomsawin’s main objective is to make us see the people of Attawapiskat differently,” said Robert Everett-Green in The Globe & Mail. “The emphasis, ultimately, is not so much on looking as on listening—the first stage in changing the conversation, or in making one possible.” Winner of the 2013 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, the film is part of a cycle of films that Obomsawin has made on children’s welfare and rights.

Also available on the Alanis Obomsawin: A Legacy DVD box set


Credits
  • director
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • writer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • editor
    Alison Burns
  • camera
    René Sioui Labelle
    Martin Duckworth
    Philippe Amiguet
    Alan Poon
    Adam George Makarenko
  • location sound
    Glenn Hodgins
    Brian Horrell
  • production assistant
    Kenny Wheesk
    Serena Koostachin
    Chris Niesing
  • music composer
    Normand Guilbeault
  • musician
    Normand Guilbeault
    René Jean
    Sylvain Provost
    Lévy Bourbonnais
  • narration
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • music recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Mathieu Leroux
  • voice recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Mathieu Leroux
  • sound editor
    Don Ayer
  • mixer
    Shelley Craig
  • research
    Alanis Obomsawin
    Katherine Kasirer
  • rights clearances
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • technical coordinator
    Steve Hallé
    Julie Laperrière
    Jean-François Laprise
    France Couture
    Micheline Faubert
  • digital editing technician
    Isabelle Painchaud
    Pierre Dupont
    Patrick Trahan
  • online editor
    Denis Pilon
  • computer graphics
    Mélanie Bouchard
  • titles
    Gaspard Gaudreau
  • marketing manager
    François Jacques
  • marketing assistant
    Geneviève Bérard
  • production coordinator
    Theodora Kolovos
    Christine Williams
  • senior production coordinator
    Isabelle Limoges
  • studio administrator
    Leslie Anne Poyntz
  • producer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • executive producer
    Ravida Din

Suggestions

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Education

Ages 12 to 18

Diversity - Diversity in Communities
Geography - Territory: Indigenous
Health/Personal Development - Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges

The living conditions faced by the members of the Attawapiskat community (4:00 and 12:30) suggest that access to raw materials and food are central challenges. Have students compare items on the shopping list (26:00) with what those same items would cost in their area. The Idle No More movement was born out of this human rights tragedy. Research the movement and see what opportunities there are for your class to get involved through fundraising, increasing awareness or action.

The People of the Kattawapiskak River
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