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Poundmaker's Lodge: A Healing Place

Poundmaker's Lodge: A Healing Place

| 29 min

Just north of the City of Edmonton lies Poundmaker’s Lodge, an addiction and mental-health facility specializing in treatment for Indigenous people. Founded in 1973 and still operational today, the Lodge’s programs and services are Indigenous-run and based in culturally appropriate recovery and healing techniques. Framing the short documentary with the words of the great Plains Cree Chief Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), Alanis Obomsawin presents a frank examination of the root causes of substance abuse in Indigenous communities and how the absence of love and support – exacerbated by the impacts of colonialism and racism – created a legacy of alcoholism for some individuals.

  • writer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • director
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • editor
    Rita Roy
  • voice
    Brian Eyahpaise
  • camera
    Roger Rochat
  • additional photography
    Doug Cole
  • assistant camera
    Michel Bissonnette
  • location sound
    Raymond Marcoux
  • song - writer
    Shannon Two Feathers
  • song performer
    Shannon Two Feathers
  • principal flute
    Dario Domingues
  • additional music
    Luc-Dominique Tremblay
    William Butler
    Gordon Tootoosis
    Sarain Stump
  • participant
    Roy Thomas
    Ron Nabigon
    Olivine Wood
    Rachelle Seguin
    Brian Roasting
    Jonathan Minde
  • sound editor
    Paul Demers
  • assistant sound editor
    Jean-Pierre Viau
  • voice recording
    Christian Fortin
  • music editor
    Julian Olson
  • re-recording
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • animation camera
    Pierre Landry
  • title design
    Louise Overy
  • optical layout
    Susan Gourley
  • studio administrator
    Marie Tonto-Donati
  • post-production coordinator
    Grace Avrith
  • production coordinator
    Andrée Lachapelle
  • executive producer
    Andy Thomson
  • research
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • producer
    Alanis Obomsawin
    Marrin Canell
    Robert Verrall


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Ages 16 to 18

Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Indigenous Studies - History/Politics
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges

Warning: Topics include suicide, addiction (alcoholism, narcotics), murder. This documentary can inspire research, discussion, projects and deeper learning about social implications of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. How has the Indian Act and other policies and laws forced upon First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples contributed to negative social implications that some have faced and continue to face? How did the forced severing of original ways of childrearing rooted in First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples’ ways fracture families? What are examples of original or traditional methods of childrearing? Who was Chief Pîtikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker) and what is his legacy? How do healing lodges support a more just and healthy society? How do negative beliefs about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples continue to shape Canadian society and what can be done to dismantle the racism and hate projected upon First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples? What are root causes of substance abuse within the context of this film? How has colonialism and racism created a legacy of trauma for some individuals and communities? How does social programming contribute to prevention while encouraging health and wellness on an individual and social level?

Poundmaker's Lodge: A Healing Place
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