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This Riel Business

This Riel Business

| 27 min
1973 12 films

This is the Canadian West that the traveller seldom sees, each film an intimate look at some facet of life of the three Prairie provinces. From the west, the east, the NFB and independent filmmakers, the films in this series show Canadians in many walks of life--the whole colorful mosaic that spreads from the plains of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to the towering peaks of Alberta's mountains.


This documentary short is a cinematic recording of Tales from a Prairie Drifter, a stage comedy about the North-West Resistance during the opening of the Canadian West. Highlighting the roles of Louis Riel, the Resistance leader, prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald and General Middleton, who was sent to quell the uprising, the play defines the First nations and Métis cause more succinctly than many history books. Here, the play is performed by the Regina Globe Theatre before an Indigineous audience of First Nations and Métis, whose reactions are recorded.

  • director
    Ian McLaren
  • producer
    Ian McLaren
  • executive producer
    John N. Smith
  • photography
    Douglas Kiefer
  • sound
    Joseph Champagne
  • editing
    Bruce Mackay
  • music
    Bruce Mackay
  • sound editing
    Bill Graziadei
  • re-recording
    Jean-Pierre Joutel


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