The NFB is committed to respecting your privacy

We use cookies to ensure that our site works efficiently, as well as for advertising purposes.

If you do not wish to have your information used in this way, you can modify your browser settings before continuing your visit.

Learn more
Rocks at Whiskey Trench

Rocks at Whiskey Trench

| 1 h 45 min

Stories of resistance, strength and perseverance are laid bare in this examination of a dark day in Canadian history. At the height of tensions at Oka, Quebec, in 1990, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) women, children and Elders fled their community of Kahnawake out of fear for their safety. Once past the Canadian Army that surrounded their home, they were assaulted by angry non-Indigenous protesters who pelted their convoy with rocks. This visceral display of hatred and violence – rarely seen so publicly in Canada – shocked the nation and revealed the severity of the dangers that faced the Kanien’kehá:ka in their struggle to defend a sacred site.

This film is the fourth in Alanis Obomsawin’s landmark series on the Mohawk resistance at Oka that would become a pivot point in contemporary relationships between Indigenous nations and Canada.

  • writer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • director
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • narrator
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • editor
    Yurij Luhovy
  • original music composer
    Claude Vendette
    Francis Grandmont
  • camera
    Roger Rochat
    René Sioui Labelle
    Philippe Amiguet
  • location sound
    Raymond Marcoux
    Ismaël Cordeiro
    Yves St-Jean
  • musician
    Claude Vendette
    Francis Grandmont
    Normand Guilbeault
    Pierre Tanguay
  • song
    Margaret Beauvais Jocks
  • assistant camera
    Michel Bissonnette
    Yoan Cart
    François Paille
  • gaffer
    Éloi Deraspe
  • sound editor
    Don Ayer
    Tony Reed
  • assistant editor
    Sharon King
  • photo animation
    Meilan Lam
  • production assistant
    Willma Lahache
  • sound technician
    Biagio Pagano
  • voice recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • voice
    Guy Nadon
  • drawings
    Robert Verrall
    Susan Phillips
    Conway Jocks
  • research
    Denise Beaugrand-Champagne
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • animation camera
    Pierre Landry
    Thea Pratt
  • post-production coordination
    Claude Cardinal
    Linda Payette
  • music recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • music recording - assistance
    Sylvain Cajelais
  • re-recording mixer
    Jean Paul Vialard
  • titles
    Gaspard Gaudreau
  • production administration assistant
    Andrée Lachapelle
  • administrative assistant
    Theodora Kolovos
  • program administrator
    Marie Tonto-Donati
    Nickie Merulla
  • producer
    Alanis Obomsawin
  • executive producer
    Sally Bochner


Enjoy the NFB experience on your favourite device. 


Ages 16 to 18

Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Geography - Territory: Indigenous
Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination

Warnings: M (Violence, hate speech, racially charged language). This film exposes the context, events and impacts of the 1990 Kanehsatà:ke’s resistance and can be used to prompt deeper learning and understanding through research, essays, projects, discussions and debates. Describe the shift in Kanehsatà:ke’s territory over time and consider how this relates to their inhuman and unethical treatment. Should the injustices of the past be repaired? What actions can citizens take today to reconcile with injustice and with the hateful and inhumane treatment of Indigenous Peoples?  What does the resistance say about settler-colonialism? Does racism and discrimination against Indigenous Peoples continue today, and are there other Canadian examples comparable to the Kanehsatà:ke’s resistance? Research how law enforcement systems and institutions contribute to hatred and violence directed against Indigenous people who try to enforce their treaty rights. How did the Kanehsatà:ke  resistance change the narrative of Canada? Why does it continue to be a struggle to have treaties respected and recognized by the government and citizens? Describe the ethical values of the perpetrators who fought against the Kanehsatà:ke, who were seeking to maintain their land and honour their dead.

Rocks at Whiskey Trench
Also available

Embed this code on your site

Video player width

by Reset