Pete Standing Alone of the Kainai Nation was more at home in the White man's culture than his own as a young man. However, confronted with the realization that his children knew very little about their origins, he became determined to pass down to them the customs and traditions of his ancestors. This hour-long film is the powerful biographical study of a twenty-five-year span in Pete's life, from his early days as an oil-rig roughneck, rodeo rider and cowboy, to the present as an Indigenous man concerned with preserving his Nation's spiritual heritage in the face of an energy-oriented industrial age.
This short documentary by Colin Low is an invitation to a gathering of the Káínaa of Alberta - as the Sun Dance is captured on film for the first time. The film shows how the theme of the circle reflects the bands' connection to wildlife and also addresses the predicament of the young generation, those who have relinquished their ties with their own culture but have not yet found a firm place in a changing world.
This short film traces Pete Standing Alone's personal journey from cultural alienation to pride and belonging. As a spiritual elder, teacher, and community leader of the Kainai Nation of Southern Alberta, Pete works with youth to repair the cultural and spiritual destruction wrought by residential schools. At age 81, he has come full-circle in his dedication to preserving the traditional ways of his people.
Released in 1969, These Are My People… was the first NFB film made entirely by an Indigenous crew. It was co-directed by Roy Daniels, Willie Dunn, Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell and Barbara Wilson—members of the Indian Film Crew (IFC), an all-Indigenous unit established in 1968 as part of Challenge for Change, a broader organizational initiative to use media to effect social change. One of the first Canadian documentaries to foreground an Indigenous perspective on the history of Indigenous–settler relations, it features Standing Arrow and Tom Porter, from the Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) community of Akwesasne, who discuss longhouse religion, culture, government and the impacts of settler arrival on their way of life.
This documentary short is an introduction to the Bella Bella (Heiltsuk) of Campbell Island, 500 km North of Vancouver on the Pacific Coast. Since the coming of settlers, these fishing people have watched their ancient Heiltsuk culture and their independence all but disappear. Today, in an energetic attempt to become self-sufficient, they are regaining both - successfully combining economic development with cultural revival.
We hear the Heiltsuk language spoken in the film (Haíɫzaqvḷa).
This whimsical 5-minute short follows filmmaker Lorne Olson as he searches for his true identity, after decades of never feeling at ease with what others called him. First Stories is an emerging filmmaker program for Indigenous youth which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
This short film tells the story of Rocky Morin, a drummer who first felt the pull of the drum almost 15 years ago and hasn't looked back since. It's a powerful reminder of the need to maintain a strong connection to one's roots. First Stories is an emerging filmmaker program for Indigenous youth which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
In this short film, filmmaker Tessa Desnomie celebrates the life and times of her grandmother, Jane Merasty. Born and raised on the trapline, this Woodlands Cree woman has witnessed significant changes throughout her vigorous 80 years. First Stories is an emerging filmmaker program for Indigenous youth which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
This short film offers a fresh, inventive look at the Internet and asks us to consider this question: does the Web provide Indigenous people with a sense of community? Single mother Michelle plunges into the often-humorous world of online dating. First Stories is an emerging filmmaker program for Indigenous youth which produced 3 separate collections of short films from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Produced in association with CBC, APTN, SCN, SaskFilm and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND.
This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929. The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over 60 years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government.Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums.
Far from home and cut off from family and friends, Montreal’s Indigenous homeless population is the focus of No Address. Dreams of a better life in the big city can be met with harsh realities, as the individuals in this documentary recount. Often trying to flee circumstances created by colonialism and the effects of assimilation, the First Nations and Inuit people in this work share frank stories about their lives and the paths that took them to the streets of Montreal. Alanis Obomsawin presents an honest, stark portrayal of endemic homelessness while giving voice to those so often overlooked or made invisible on the streets of every city in Canada.
This documentary focuses on the Yukon's Far North, where 280 Aboriginal people live in the village of Old Crow. Deep in this wilderness, the health of the children is a source of concern—the rise in obesity, diabetes and delinquency rates underscores the extent to which health and social problems are linked. With compassion and insight, this film shows how a handful of parents took control of a situation to ensure a future for their children.