In this short film, artist Jobie Weetaluktuk turns his gaze on his family and the power of ritual through the story of a young woman and her unplanned child.In Inukjuak, an Inuit community in the Eastern Arctic, a baby boy has come into the world and they call him Timuti, a name that recurs across generations of his people, evoking other Timutis, alive and dead, who will nourish his spirit and shape his destiny.
In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.
This animated short tells the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. The tale is based on emerging filmmaker Echo Henoche's favourite legend, as told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's North Coast. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman is the first collaboration between the Labrador artist and the NFB.
This short documentary serves as a quiet elegy for a way of life, which exists now only in the memories of those who experienced it. Bonnie Ammaaq and her family remember it vividly. When Bonnie was a little girl, her parents packed up their essentials, bundled her and her younger brother onto a long, fur-lined sled and left the government-manufactured community of Igloolik to live off the land, as had generations of Inuit before them.
In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light. Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.
This short documentary studies life in the village of Kangirsujuaq, Nunavik. In this community on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, children’s laughter fills the streets while the old people ponder the passage of time. They are nomads of the wide-open spaces who are trying to get used to the strange feeling of staying put. While the teenagers lap up Southern culture and play golf on the tundra to kill time, the Elders are slowly dying, as their entire culture seems to fade away.
Elisapie Isaac, a filmmaker born in Nunavik, decides to return to her roots on this breathtaking land. To bridge the growing gap between the young and the old, she speaks to her grandfather, now deceased, and confides in him her hopes and fears. Grappling with isolation, family relationships, resource extraction, land-based knowledges, the influence of Southern culture and the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Inuit ways of life, Elisapie Isaac offers a nuanced portrait of the North.
Released in 1977, this beautifully paced short was photographed, directed, edited and narrated by Mosha Michael — one of Canada’s first Inuk filmmakers. Michael offers a first-hand account of a three-week Arctic hunting excursion, a rehabilitative trip undertaken by young offenders and their families. Dropping anchor at various points throughout Frobisher Bay, they fish for cod, hunt for seal and caribou, and renew family and community ties. Shooting on a Super 8 camera and providing his own narration, Michael crafts an engaging document of Inuk life in the 1970s. An original score features performances by Kowmageak Arngnakolak and Michael himself.
This feature-length documentary chronicles the Sundance ceremony brought to Eastern Canada by William Nevin of the Elsipogtog First Nation of the Mi'kmaq. Nevin learned from Elder Keith Chiefmoon of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Alberta. Under the July sky, participants in the Sundance ceremony go four days without food or water. Then they will pierce the flesh of their chests in an offering to the Creator. This event marks a transmission of culture and a link to the warrior traditions of the past.
In a pounding critique of Canada's colonial history, this short film draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison in the 1890s and the devastation inflicted on the Indigenous population by the residential school system.This film is part of Souvenir, a series of four films addressing Indigenous identity and representation by reworking material in the NFB's archives.
This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.
Ages 10 to 18
Diversity - Identity
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World
Timuti is a visually powerful film that combines scenes of family life, archival footage, and shots of arctic landscapes to illustrate how individual identity is born of tradition, continuity and change. Have students take particular note of the tone of the dialogue in the film. What does it indicate about the culture into which Timuti is born? Ask students to consider how their own identities may have been influenced by a family or a cultural tradition. Is there anyone in the classroom who has been named for a relative, and do they know why they were given that name?